Could San Diego Become The Largest US City With A Gay Man As Mayor?

Image via the Todd Gloria Campaign

Things are looking up for Todd Gloria. The California State Assemblyman recently won the most votes in Tuesday’s mayoral primary, and that poises him as the man to watch in the race.

According to the New York Daily News, the 41-year-old Democratic assemblyman, who currently works at the majority whip, finished Tuesday’s race with nearly 79,000 votes or 40.2% of the total vote. Meanwhile, his two competitors finished with 26% and 24% of the vote.

According to City News Service, Gloria’s potential win could mean San Diego would become the U.S.A.’s largest city to elect an openly gay man as mayor. Other cities that have and have/had open LGBTQ+ mayors include 

Current Office Holders

Fort Lauderdale’s Dean Trantalis – He the first openly gay person to be elected Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, and took office on March 20, 2018.

Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot – Chicago elected Lori Lightfoot last year, an openly lesbian mayor.

Tampa’s Jane Castor – In the 2019 Tampa mayoral election, held on March 5, 2019, Castor led all candidates, garnering 48.0% of the vote. In the runoff election held on April 23, she defeated David Straz with 73% of the vote compared to Straz’s 27%. She is the city’s first openly lesbian mayor.

Previous Office Holders

Houston’s Annise Danette Parker is an open lesbian politician who served as the 61st Mayor of Houston, Texas, from 2010 until 2016.

Providence’s David Nicola Cicilline – served as Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, from 2003 to 2011, and was the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. state capital.

Salt Lake City’s Jackie Biskupski is an American Democratic politician, who served as the 35th Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah from 2016 to 2020. Upon taking office, Biskupski became Salt Lake City’s 35th mayor, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, and the second female mayor. 

Seattle’s Ed Murray was elected Mayor of Seattle in the 2013 elections. He ran for re-election in 2017, but ended his campaign May 9 following allegations of child sexual abuse. On September 12, 2017, amid more sexual abuse claims, Murray announced his resignation effective the next day

If you know of any others from larger US cities, let us know and we can update (most information from wikipedia).

As for his political history, Gloria has had a successful career leading within California’s political circles. Before acting as majority whip in the state legislator, Gloria served two terms in San Diego’s city council. This includes working as council president and interim mayor. On top of that, he is a San Diego native and longtime resident.

“San Diegans should be proud to have advanced two openly LGBTQ+ champions on to the November election,” Rick Chavez Zbur, the executive director of Equality California, said in a statement acknowledging Chris Ward. Ward is also an openly gay member of San Diego’s City Council, and he’s running to replace Gloria’s Assembly spot. Ward is also in a favorable spot as he won 56.8% of his vote.

“Todd Gloria will not only make history this November; he will deliver the bold, progressive and experienced leadership this city needs. Chris Ward will be a strong, effective champion for San Diego County in the California Assembly. Their victories [on the primaries] signal what we already knew: San Diego knows the value of LGBTQ+ representation,” Zbur added.


Sources: NYDailyNews, City News Service,

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