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Buttigieg raises $7 million in first quarter

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot  Photo courtesy of the Lightfoot Campaign

HISTORIC: Chicago elects its first black lesbian mayor The run-off election Tuesday night in Chicago resulted in a historic victory for Lori Lightfoot, who became the first openly lesbian and black woman elected mayor of the city. The Associated Press called the race for Lightfoot, who was running against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, at 8 p.m. local time. According to early results, Lightfoot claimed 74.2 percent of the vote compared to the 25.8 percent won by Preckwinkle. Lightfoot’s victory will make Chicago the largest city in the United States with an openly gay mayor. Previously, that distinction was held by Houston, where Annise Parker served as mayor from 2010 to 2016. Parker, who’s now executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, was on the ground in Chicago and commended Lightfood in a statement. “A Black lesbian taking power in the nation’s third-largest city is a historic moment for so many communities that are too often ignored in American politics,” Parker said. “Chicago’s enormous influence on the national dialogue provides a platform for Lori to promote more inclusive solutions to the challenges facing our cities and nation – and to be a credible messenger as well. Lori will certainly remain focused on the issues facing Chicago. But as the highest-ranking LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of an American city – a title she takes from me – she is also now a key leader in the movement to build LGBTQ political power nationwide.” Also commending Lightfoot was Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, who said her victory extends the treads of milestone victories after the 2018 election. “As the first openly LGBTQ woman of color to be elected mayor in any of America’s 100 largest cities and the first black woman to serve as mayor of Chicago, Lightfoot is an inspiration to thousands of LGBTQ people of color who have a new role model in elected office,” Perez said. Two other lesbian candidates — Satya Rhodes-Conway in Madison, Wisconsin, and Jolie Justus in Kansas City — were running for the offices of mayor elsewhere in the country. Both won their races. Justus will now face Quinton Lucas in the June general election. Rhodes-Conway ousted longtime Mayor Paul Soglin in another landslide to become Madison’s first openly gay mayor. CHRIS JOHNSON

Pete Buttigieg claimed a $7 million haul in first quarter fundraising for the exploratory committee for his 2020 presidential bid — an impressive score for an openly gay candidate who was virtually unknown months ago. Buttigieg announced the figure Monday on Twitter, saying his campaign was “out-performing expectations at every turn.” The fundraising total doesn’t list the number of donors, but a quarterly campaign finance report with more details is due April 15. In comparison to Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders raised $5.9 million and Beto O’Rourke raised $6.1 million on the first day of their presidential bids. Buttigieg’s standing in the polls has increased dramatically. A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed he had support from 4 percent of Democratic voters. Last week, an  Emerson poll in Iowa put him in third place in the state, which holds the Iowa caucuses and the first presidential contest of the primary season. But Buttigieg still faces challenges. A report in Politico found Buttigieg lags in campaign infrastructure in comparison to other Democratic contenders. “Local operatives said the 37-year-old lags in the sprawling pack of 2020 candidates in building infrastructure in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — a problem that Buttigieg’s campaign is trying to correct quickly as money starts rolling in,” the report says. CHRIS JOHNSON

Gay, trans detainees allege abuse in N.M. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week again defended the treatment of its detainees amid allegations that a dozen gay men and transgender women suffered abuse while they were being held at an ICE detention center in New Mexico. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Dreamers Project and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in a March 25 letter  to ICE and the Department of Homeland Security said the gay and trans detainees suffered “rampant sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse” at the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, N.M. Otero is located roughly 30 miles north of El Paso, Texas, which is on the U.S.-Mexico border. Management and Training Corporation, a Utah-based company that operates two dozen private prisons across the country, operates Otero. “People detained at Otero report that guards bark transphobic commands like, ‘Walk like a man! You better sit like a man!’,” reads the letter, which was also sent to Otero Warden Dora Orozco. “They force transgender women to bathe and sleep in units with men who sexually harass and threaten them. Some of the men even intrude on women while they are in the shower, leering at them and offering to ‘help’ them bathe. Other men ask women for sex while they try to sleep.” The letter notes guards “subject the gay men and transgender women to frequent pat-down searches.” It also says the dozen gay and trans detainees “cannot eat in the cafeteria or walk through the detention center without enduring homophobic and transphobic slurs from other detained people, which the guards do not address.” The letter notes medical staff do not provide the detainees with “necessary medical care,” noting trans women have been told that ICE “won’t give you hormones.” The letter also notes guards have placed the inmates into solitary confinement after they complained about the conditions. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

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