Republican David Catania, taking advantage of low voter turnout, defied overwhelming odds to upset veteran Democrat Arrington Dixon in yesterday's special election for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council.
Though Democrats have a 10 to 1 edge in voter registration, Catania won 43 percent of the total vote cast in a four-way race. In defeating Dixon, a well-known figure in District politics who was a member of the first elected D.C. Council, Catania became the council's first openly gay member. His arrival will double the number of Republicans on the council.
"I think we've made two important milestones," Catania said last night from his victory party at the Radisson Barcelo Hotel in the Dupont Circle area. "One is the first time a Republican has beaten a Democrat in a head-on race in the city. And as the first openly gay member of the city council, that is a breakthrough, and it shows how marvelous . . . open-minded, accepting and truly magnificent the people of this city are."
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