Gay Atlanta School Board candidate switches races
Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter showed his support for a ban on transgender troops in the US military during an Aug. 9 town hall meeting in Brunswick.
The Washington Post’s Dave Wiegel reports that Carter, a Republican in his second term representing Georgia’s 1st Congressional District, talked over boos from the crowd as he told them, “I don’t want ‘em serving in the military. I’m sorry.”
The comments came two days after the release of a Palm Center report showing that discharging transgender troops would cost the US nearly $1 billion, more than 100 times the cot of providing healthcare for trans troops (estimated at $8.4 million).
Colton Griffin, chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia’s LGBTQ Caucus, issued a statement in response to Carter’s comments.
“Buddy Carter’s remarks are reprehensible,” he said. “Carter’s comments are particularly appalling as they come out of the mouth of someone who has never worn the uniform. If Buddy Carter and Donald Trump get their way, thousands of military personnel will be shoved back in the closet, placing our national security at risk. At this moment, these service members are deployed around the globe protecting Americans — including Buddy Carter. The DPG stands with those fighting for our right to live freely, and champion their right to serve freely.”
Atlanta School Board candidate Charlie Stadtlander, an openly gay former teacher, is changing races.
Stadtlander told Georgia Voice on Aug. 11 that he has dropped out of the District 3 race to run for the At-Large Seat 8 position now held by Cynthia Briscoe Brown. Until that day, Brown ran unopposed. Stadtlander said the decision came after meeting with stakeholders in Districts 3 and 4, which are represented on the board by this at-large position, which is elected city-wide. He said those he spoke with were not pleased with Brown’s performance.
“You’re there to support the board members from Districts 3 and 4,” he said. “I don’t think that’s been happening with Cynthia Briscoe Brown. She’s been neglecting District 3, which is heavily LGBT, and has been paying some attention to District 4.” Brown said those comments concerned her. “This is a citywide position,” she told Georgia Voice. “While I am required to be physically resident in District 3 or 4 to run for this seat, I am a true citywide representative and I take that very seriously. I try to visit every school every single year. … I certainly don’t think I neglect the schools in District 3 or District 4.”
Stadtlander said though the candidates who remain on the District 3 ballot support his main campaign points, he does not feel Brown does, which played into his decision to challenge her. Brown said she welcomes the opportunity to sit down with those who feel she hasn’t done what she set out to do when she was elected four years ago.
The Atlanta Board of Education election will take place in November.