Originally published: Nov. 6, 2012, 9:37 p.m.
Updated: Nov. 7, 2012, 11:16 a.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After hard-fought campaigns, two openly lesbian candidates for the North Carolina legislature lost their races on Tuesday night. New Hanover County’s state Senate candidate Deb Butler and Buncombe County’s state House candidate Susan Wilson, both Democrats, will not join the state’s only openly gay state lawmaker, Guilford County House Rep. Marcus Brandon.

Susan Wilson

Wilson lost her race 54-46 percent against Republican candidate Nathan Ramsey. Wilson had worked hard to stress economic and education issues. Still, Republicans worked hard to discredit her. An openly gay GOP operative last month also used an anti-gay slur to describe her in a message on Twitter.

Butler lost her campaign 54-46 against incumbent Republican Thom Goolsby.

Butler had worked hard to stress Goolsby’s poor record on job creation. She also came out swinging against Goolsby’s support of intrusive anti-choice legislation with ads featuring a transvaginal wand, used in new, legally-required procedures for women seeking abortions.

Guilford County’s Marcus Brandon, who ran unopposed this year, will remain the only openly gay state legislator in North Carolina.

more coverage: Republicans hold control of legislature

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.