Mark Kleinschmidt in the 2009 N.C. Pride Parade in Durham.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Mark Kleinschmidt emerged victorious in his campaign for mayor of Chapel Hill on Tuesday, with a 49.49 percent (4,006) to 46.53 percent (3,766) lead against chief opponent Matt Czajkowski with 21 of 21 precincts reporting.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m., Czajkowski conceded to Kleinschmidt.

A member of the Chapel Hill Town Council since 2001, Kleinschmidt will become the third openly gay man to hold mayoral office in the state, following Mike Nelson in Carrboro and Elic Senter in Frankinton.

Orange County reported a 16 percent voter turnout with a little over 11,700 ballots counted.

Kleinschmidt is a leading civil rights and LGBT advocate in the Tar Heel State. After serving as a staff attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, he was hired as executive director of the Fair Trial Initiative in October 2006. Kleinschmidt is former board president of North Carolina’s ACLU chapter and a former board member of Equality North Carolina.

Kleinschmidt was endorsed by current Chapel Hill mayor Kevin Foy. His campaign platform called for better public transportation, community development, centralized urban growth rather than sprawl and environmental protection.

nextissue: Be sure to pick up the next print issue of Q-Notes on Nov. 14 or head back to for more local and national LGBT election news and analysis.

Matt Comer

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

18 replies on “Openly gay Kleinschmidt is next Chapel Hill mayor”

  1. The right to enter into a civil legal contract with another consenting adult is not something to be voted on.

  2. As a voter in Chapel Hill, I could not care less about Mark K’s adult sexual preferences.

    What I do know is that his election will not hep the business environment in Chapel Hill, and govt spending will go up as well as taxes.

  3. Born in NC, but left long ago. Mark’s election makes me want to come home again. Dolph Spain, Miami Beaach, FL

  4. Mark you are so right; why gay civil unions are even possible to be “voted” on makes not sense whatsoever. Surely reasoned heads will eventually prevail.

  5. WJ,
    If you were gay then you would care about his sexual orientation. We still live in a society in which I, and Mayor Kleinschmidt, are second class citizens. Im glad that you have the luxury of not caring that he is gay. :-)
    I agree with you that taxes in Chapel Hill are out of control. Lets hope he surprises us both in regards to taxation.

  6. Congratulations to Mark Kleinschmidt, but with all due respect, how a bout a little love for Annise Parker in Houston, Texas emerging as the front runner in a strong field of four in the Houston, TX mayor’s race. Annise has held city-wide elected office in Houston, serving 3 terms (the limit) as At-large Councilmember and 3 terms as Controller. She will emerge from the December run-off as the next mayor of Houston. She did it in the fourth largest city in the country in one of the reddest states.

  7. Delighted to have Mark as Mayor, someone who – we hope – will not turn the town over to unfettered and greedy “business interests” that will siphon income away from the town and into parent-company pockets, leaving the town with multi-story empty shells of “development” real estate. The fact that he’s “openly gay” is also something to be proud of, although I suspect there are other gay mayors in NC we just don’t know about!

  8. Can’t fix stupisd in Chapel Hill.

    Vote for “the gay guy” to make your point and forget that Matt Czajkowski, who has been pro-business for years, could actually DO something to improve dilapidation of Franklin Street.

    Anyone who thinks “The Gap” or “The Buckle” or other chain store businesses thrive off Chapel Hill tax deals is another deluded liberal.

    There is no stubbornly dumpier college town than UNC Chapel Hill! Phd. in throwing away success with both hands!

  9. No, you can’t fix “stupisd”, stupid. Matt is pro-business? How nice! Where does that leave the rest of us? Duh

    If I’m gonna be deluded, I’d rather it be deluded by love, compassion, justice, friendship, fairness & by the real qualifications of a serious candidate who cares about many different people (even hateful illiterate ones).

    You are the deluded one if you think the elite care a jot about you and your rantings. They don’t. What on earth is your problem, Bucky? Was kindergarten a little rough on you?

    The sad part is that you don’t know who your real friends are.

  10. One of the bad parts about living in rural Orange is not being able to vote for candidates like Mark. Congratulations on your victory!
    I’m so glad you were elected for so many reasons.

    I wish there were more Mark Kleinschmidts running for office.

    Best regards and hopes for a very successful term of office.

  11. CrisD – Chapel Hill is full of libtards. They’ll vote for a guy just because he’s gay. Gay means you “care about people”. Libtards don’t go deeper than that. Look at RBarrett – an obvious libtard elitist. The good news – New Jersey and Virginia; people are tired of elitist libtards…

  12. (* flash to next Chapel Hill Mayor after Mark K.*)

    The next Chapel Hill mayor – a guy with a club foot and glass eye who hangs himself from meathooks. He knows nothing but he “cares about people”. Chapel Hill libtards go bananas because he promises to be sensitive and treat the Earth with compassion…

  13. Its great that Chapel hill has picked a gay mayor. Joining about 70+ USA towns and cities in affirming Jesus 2nd of only 2 commandments — “love thy neighbor as thyself”

    And for the few anti’s’ here, just read what they say and you’ll realize that their failure to get an education shows through like a homophobe’s erection when he gets next to an openly gay person. (pant pant)

    Because most of the homophobes are secretly gay, and don’t have the gonads and decency to admit it.

    The world is changing. In the last month Catholic Portugal voted in marriage equality for gay people.

    Iceland’s parliment voted 49 – 0 (stupendous – not even an abstention – to have gay marriage.

    And very Catholic Ireland voted for civil unions for gay people.

    Argentina’s house of rep voted for gay marriage.

    And the ball is rolling in Chile and elsewhere in the world. About 35 countries, most western and many Catholic – believe it or not – now recognize gay couples unions under their laws.

    While in the USA the EPiscopal, ELCA-lutheran, UCC, MCC, UU, parts of the Presbyterian church, Jewish reformn and some jewish conservative perform gay marriage or equivalent ceremonies. And others, eg the American Baptists, Disciples of Christ etc are movign in that direction.

    Jesus’ words of love for all God’s creation are taking over the western world

    BTW – Anise Parker IS mayor of Houston – and gay. In the reddest of redneck states.

    But congrats to Chapel Hill for what they did. Of course, isn’t chapel hill part of Research Triangle Park?

    Where real education, not racism, sexism, and homophobia and the churches of HIHN – Hatred in His Name do not rule

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