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Lara makes history as CA first LGBT statewide elected official

by Cynthia Laird

California Insurance Commissioner-elect Ricardo Lara
California Insurance Commissioner-elect Ricardo Lara  

Equality California announced late Friday, November 16, that gay state Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has won the close race for California insurance commissioner, making him the first openly LGBT statewide elected official.

The Associated Press called the race for Lara, who currently leads former insurance commissioner Steve Poizner with nearly 4.9 million votes, or 51.6 percent.

"Ricardo has been a champion for California's LGBTQ and immigrant communities throughout his career, working to tear down barriers, ensure equality for all and now break through California's rainbow glass ceiling," said EQCA Executive Director Rick Zbur. "In an already historic year for LGBTQ candidates across California and the nation, Ricardo has proven that an openly gay son of a factory worker and seamstress who immigrated from Mexico can grow up to represent 40 million people in the world's fifth largest economy. We look forward to working with Ricardo in this new role and wish him continued success as he fights to improve the lives of all Californians."

EQCA, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, supported Lara's bid to break the state's rainbow glass ceiling and celebrated the historic victory.

Lara campaign spokesman Michael Soller wrote in an email that the campaign has not yet declared victory, since votes are still being counted.

Contact the reporter at c.laird@ebar.com.

Updated, 11/16/18: This story was updated with comment from Lara campaign spokesman.

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