Gay Milton Councilman, Alan Tart, Seeks Reelection
(APN) ATLANTA — City of Milton Councilman Alan Tart (Post 6), an openly homosexual man living with his male partner, David, in the most right-wing city in the State of Georgia, is seeking reelection in the upcoming November 2011 General Election.
Previously, Atlanta Progressive News, in partnership with the now-defunct Beacon newspaper, reported on the social and cultural significance of Tart’s election, while GLBT media outlets like Project Q Atlanta questioned the fact that Tart had been elected under the radar, without anyone in the Metro Atlanta gay establishment even knowing about it.
Lance Large is challenging Tart in the upcoming election, although Tart says that Large is not making an issue out of Tart’s sexual orientation.
“I moved to Milton in January of 2005,” Tart told APN. “David and I moved here together, David’s my partner.”
“We did live in Sandy Springs, we loved Sandy Springs because it’s close into town. My daughter and my ex-wife lived in Gainesville, Georgia, so Sandy Springs was halfway between Midtown and Gainesville,” Tart said.
“Almost overnight it became ridden with crime, wasn’t a good place to raise my daughter. We were renting at the time, we wanted to buy a house together. We took a journey up 400, the area that would become Milton met our needs as far as costs and being away from the crime that we associated with being close into town and still be close to my daughter,” Tart said.
“She lives with her mother fifty-five percent of the time, me forty-five percent of the time. In the summer, I get her pretty much most of the summer, four full weeks; we alternate holidays and that kind of thing,” Tart said.
“I do work in Midtown, the Food and Drug Administration building is on 8th and Peachtree,” Tart said.
“We love Midtown actually, we go out to dinner there and go out when we can. It’s obviously kind of a commute especially to go out and take taxis back home. But it’s worth the sixty dollar taxi ride back home,” Tart said.
Tart said there is a small GLBT community in Milton. APN saw a photograph on Facebook of several homosexual men holding a party at a public pool in Milton’s Avensong neighborhood a few months ago.
The community is “small but yes. I have met a few people. Obviously it’s not Midtown. There’s a community here and they pretty much tend to keep to themselves. It is what it is.”
“When all of the newspapers did all of those articles on me in July, there were several [homosexual people] in the city that I was not aware of that reached out to me during that time,” Tart said.
“The gentleman running against me, Lance Large, he is supported by the development and business community,” Tart said. “I am supported by private citizens. He of course has the money and the support of very influential people.”
“When the day is done, the citizens will vote their conviction. I think we’ll be fine on November 8th,” Tart said.
Tart said his daughter, Madison, likes having two dads.
“He’s been in her life since she was two and a half years old. They love each other, and I’m very proud of my family. They’ve been very supportive though everything,” Tart said.
“I was married, my ex-wife, we dated in high school, we got married and had a daughter. And as a lot of people do, I love my ex-wife, but I wanted to be true to who I was,” Tart said.
“It was a liberating experience. I certainly hate that I hurt my ex-wife in the process, but I felt I needed to be true to who I was, and true to my daughter,” Tart said.
Tart said that there was very little backlash within the Milton community from the July coverage.
Recently, Tart was listed as a co-host for a fundraiser for Pam Miller, an openly homosexual woman running for the City Council of Savannah. Tart says it was his first time being listed as a co-host for a candidate not living in Milton and that his sponsorship was sought by Miller’s campaign.
“I was really surprised when she reached out to me. I don’t what she thought that I would add to her. I was flattered,” Tart said.
APN asked Tart why he chose not to seek endorsements or funding from GLBT organizations like the Victory Fund.
“I didn’t know a lot about the resources that were available, and even if I had, and even though I know about them now, I’ve really made an effort to make a very, very grassroots campaign close to the people that elected me. You can see that in the contributions that have been given- I don’t take contributions from organizations. I don’t take money from developers,” Tart said.
“I think even though this is the most Republican city of its size in the State of Georgia, it’s probably the most affluent and educated, that has a lot to do wth the mindset of people. People are more concerned about public safety and taxes and parks and recreation. They’re more concerned with the leader than who the leaders are with,” Tart said.