Jason Elliott, soon to become the first openly gay lawmaker in South Carolina, says the state's staunchly Republican stronghold is beginning to crumble in favor more inclusive policies.
"You hear that we're a big tent. Well, we demonstrated that," Elliott, a lawyer who served as an aide to one-time U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, told The State newspaper
On June 14, Elliott whipped four-term state Rep. Wendy Nanney in the GOP primary, proving that his sexual orientation didn't play a role in the contest. He has no opponent in the November election, guaranteeing him the House seat.
"With my knowledge and understanding that people knew of my orientation, the election results tell me that — rightfully — we focused on issues that are relevant to the position for which I was running," Elliott said.
"Unquestionably and undeniably, I am a Republican and proud to be one. I'm also proud of the fact that I'm a white male, 6 foot, 2 inches with too much gray hair for 45 — and also happen to be gay."
In January, Elliott will become a state representative for parts of Greenville, which include the highly-conservative Bob Jones University.
Elliott plans to support Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.
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