Mike Fleck is a Republican Pennsylvania state representative. He was first elected to that office in 2006. He was subsequently reelected three times in unopposed primaries and elections.
On December 1, 2012 (after his 2012 reelection), Mike Fleck came out as gay. That made him, surprisingly, the first and only openly gay member of the Pennsylvania state legislature. He is one of only two openly gay Republican state legislators in America.
This past tuesday, Fleck ran in the Republican primary for reelection to the post he has occupied for 8 years. It was his first election contest as an openly gay man. As usual, Fleck ran unopposed. And he lost.
Fleck was beaten by a write-in candidate, Richard Irvin, who will represent the Republican Party in the state house election in November. Weirdly, although no Democrats ran for Fleck's office in the Democratic primary, Fleck actually won the Democratic primary as a write-in candidate himself, and will appear on the ballot in November as a Democrat, running against Richard Irvin. There is virtually no chance Fleck can win this election, however, as a gay Democrat in a staunchly Republican district.
Fleck does not blame his loss exclusively on his homosexuality. Although he considers himself a Tea Party Republican, he was targeted as "not being conservative enough" by a Pennsylvania conservative group, which opposed his reelection. Fleck does believe his homosexuality was a factor, however, given the demographics of Republican Party primary voters.
Originally Posted by Mike Fleck