Riordan Wins 41% of Gay Vote in Victory

Gay Support for Republican Mayor Jumps 11 Points from 1993 Election

April 11, 1997 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(LOS ANGELES) Mayor Richard Riordan was resoundingly re-elected Tuesday in Los Angeles, and his margin of victory included an 11 point jump in his share of the gay and lesbian vote from his first race in 1993.

According to a Los Angeles Times exit poll, Riordan received 41% of the gay vote in Los Angeles, up from 30% in 1993. Overall, gays and lesbians made up 4% of the general vote. Riordan captured over 60% of the total vote, making him the highest vote-getting Republican in the history of Los Angeles, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1.

"Mayor Riordan has clearly made history by winning 40 percent of the gay vote," said Richard Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "He has set an example for other Republicans to follow in how we expand the Republican base, expand our majority and win more elections. This is further proof that the message of fiscal conservatism, fighting crime and social tolerance continues to be a winning message for Republicans."

"This election proves that the gay and lesbian vote is not monolithic," Tafel added. "Gay voters care about crime, taxes and the economy as much as everyone else, and they will support Republican candidates who speak to those issues while respecting gays and lesbians as part of the community."

Since his election in 1993, Riordan appointed the city's first openly-gay Deputy Mayor, was the first L.A. mayor to march in the city's gay pride parades, and appointed a wide range of openly gay and lesbian comissioners. Riordan's re-election was one of LCR's top national priorities for 1997. Leaders of Log Cabin Los Angeles, the organization's local chapter, raised over $30,000 for Riordan's re-election campaign and provided volunteer and get-out-the-vote support for the campaign. Riordan credited Log Cabin for being a "significant factor in my victory" in 1993.