What Yesterday’s Election Means (or not) for Racial Progress, Gay Rights and Democracy

Here’s more on yesterday’s election from two local players, including somewhat contradictory takes on a little-noticed Brooklyn judicial race.

Gary Tilzer, campaign manager for Diana Johnson:

"Diana Johnson who was elected to the Brooklyn Surrogate Court last night is the first Afro-American Surrogate ever elected in New York State. It is also the first time since the beginning of Tammany Hall over 100 years that Kings County Democratic Organization has been frozen out of that court. The Judge Johnson campaign for Surrogate Court has now completed the work of giants like Senator Robert Kennedy and Mayor John Lindsay and Mayor Fiorello Enrico LaGuardia who begain the work of cleaning up the Surrogate Court "

Bob Zuckerman, a past president of the Stonewall Democratic Club:

“WINNERS: Mathieu Eugene – He gets a whole year off before he has to run again! The gay and lesbian community – With the New Jersey legislature staying firmly in Democratic hands, the odds increase that, in late 2008, after the presidential election is over, they will vote on a same-sex marriage bill, which Governor Corzine will sign, making NJ the first state to legislatively grant gay couples the right to marry. Massachusetts, currently the only state where same-sex marriage is legal, does not allow non-residents to get a license. New Jersey, however, has no such provision in their laws. Therefore, we can expect thousands of New Yorkers to jump on the Path trains to Hoboken and NJ Transit trains to Asbury Park to get hitched.

"LOSERS: Supreme Court convention system- The pathetic turnout yesterday just reinforces the sham that these conventions are, since the Democratic nominees that are "selected" – not "elected" – automatically win in the general election with barely anyone going to the polls.

"The gay and lesbian community – Noach Dear is now a Civil Court judge. Yuck."