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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August,16 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 33
It's Gay vs. Gay in Ferndale, MI - Race for mayor features two Gay men and a straight woman
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It's Gay vs. Gay in Ferndale, MI - Race for mayor features two Gay men and a straight woman

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle has only one openly Gay candidate for mayor - Ed Murray - but Ferndale, Michigan, has two, and both of them have served as mayor already.

Openly Gay Craig Covey was elected mayor in 2007 - Michigan's first Gay mayor. After serving two two-year terms, Covey ran for and won a position on the Oakland County Commission.

He was succeeded by his political ally, openly Gay County Commissioner David Coulter, who is now the incumbent mayor of Ferndale and Michigan's second openly Gay mayor.

Last year Covey lost his bid for re-election to the County Commission and decided to run for his old position as mayor of Ferndale, even though Coulter was also running for re-election to the post.

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Some members of the city's LGBT community have reportedly criticized Covey for running against a Gay incumbent, but both candidates are struggling to find issues that differentiate them.

'Some people have said, you two are pretty similar in a lot of ways,' Covey told the Detroit Free Press. We're both Gay, we've both run AIDS organizations, we're both liberal on social issues, we're both white Anglo guys in our 50s. But on fiscal issues, I'm pretty conservative.'

More importantly, Covey says, he has been an advocate of legalizing marijuana in Ferndale, something that Coulter says should be left up to state lawmakers.

For his part, Coulter describes himself as the less flashy, 'more nuts and bolts guy.'

There is a third candidate in the race, Sherry Wells, who is straight.

A largely residential suburb of Detroit, Ferndale is known as an LGBT center in the metropolitan area. Ferndale passed an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting its LGBT residents in 2006, the year before electing a Gay mayor. It has somewhat less than 20,000 people and is significantly wealthier than Detroit.

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