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New Gainesville mayor says sexuality a non-issue

in Statewide by

When Craig Lowe was running for class president in eighth grade at his suburban Atlanta school, someone posted a sign in the hallway declaring, “No to homo Lowe.”

It was eerily similar to the sign declaring “No homo Mayor” that a northwest Gainesville church posted in March, weeks before Lowe was on the ballot in the mayoral runoff — one reason the contest got national attention.

After winning the election, Lowe talked to Details magazine about the harsh realities faced by gay candidates.

“Some people grow up, and some people don’t,” he said Wednesday.

When Lowe, 52, was sworn in Thursday, he became the first gay mayor in North Central Florida and one of about 30 gay or lesbian mayors across the country. But, as during his campaign, he said he doesn’t want anyone – voters, constituents or colleagues – to focus on his sexuality.

“I wanted to be the mayor of all Gainesville and not be portrayed as … the mayor who is that or the mayor who is this,” he said.

But instead of ignoring the elephant in the room during his swearing-in ceremony, Lowe told a joke. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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