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Cleveland, Ohio

Mike Foley (D-Cleveland), an attorney and director of the Cleveland Tenants Organization, was recently appointed interim Representative for the 14th Ohio House District following his narrow victory over public school teacher Bill Ritter (D-Cleveland) in the May 2nd primary election. The 14th District seat became vacant early this year when incumbent Dale Miller was appointed to the Ohio Senate. The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party had been expected to appoint either Foley or another primary candidate, former State Rep. Erin Sullivan Lally (D-Cleveland), to fill the vacancy before the primary.

However, unable to choose which candidate to appoint, the matter was left to be decided by the primary voters. In the closing days of the campaign, Ritter sent a gay-baiting newsletter to supporters, calling attention to Foley's support for gay marriage and his endorsement by the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats. That organization, and political bloggers, protested vigorously as voters went to the polls. The primary turned out to be an extremely close race between Ritter and Foley, with Erin Sullivan Lally dropping to third. The lead changed from Ritter by a tiny margin to Foley by just over 100 votes as absentee and provisional ballots were eventually counted.

Foley has been certified as the winner, although Ritter has paid a fee in excess of $5,000 to compel the Board of Elections to conduct a recount, which is pending.

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Added by MeetTheBloggers on May 31, 2006