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Forum for Equality Endorsements 

  On the day of the first mayoral debate, the statewide gay and lesbian civil rights group Forum for Equality became one of the first to make endorsements in the municipal election. According to the Forum's co-political director Randy Lewis, the group has issued a joint thumbs-up for mayoral candidates John Georges and Ed Murray, as well as endorsements for City Council hopefuls Jackie Clarkson and Arnie Fielkow (at-large), Jay Batt (District A), Stacy Head (District B), Kristin Palmer (District C) and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell (District D). The group made no endorsement in District E. Notably absent from their endorsements: mayoral candidate James Perry, who has advocated not only for same-sex unions, but also gay marriage. Perhaps the most surprising endorsement was that of Batt, a Republican more identified with development interests than human rights, over opponents Susan Guidry, a Democrat, and Virginia Blanque, a fiscal Republican with a socially liberal following from her days as head of constituent services for Councilman Arnie Fielkow. — Kevin Allman


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