Voters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida have decided on who'll replace anti-gay Mayor Jim Naugle.

In a nonpartisan primary yesterday, the citizens of Fort Lauderdale voted in Jack Seiler, who, because he won a majority (57%) of the vote, will go on to become mayor, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

Seiler is not necessarily a gay-affirming candidate, but even that must seem palatable to the gay and lesbian community that has so often been ridiculed by its mayor over the years.

Two of the four candidates running – former city commissioner and gay activist Dean Trantalis and businessman Earl Rynerson – said they pursued the job because of the mayor's anti-gay stance.

Trantalis took only 23% of the vote; Rynerson trailed with 15%.

Naugle has served as mayor of Fort Lauderdale for 18 years, but was prohibited from running this year due to term limits.

In July, the outgoing mayor upset the gay and lesbian community over remarks that a gay mayoral candidate could win if he was a “responsible homosexual”. Speaking on 850WFTL conservative talk radio, Naugle was asked if he believed a gay candidate could win the mayor's race.

“I think that a homosexual does have a chance to be elected mayor in Ft. Lauderdale, if they reject that notion that it's okay to take over our parks and public spaces with that kind of activity,” Naugle said, referring to men having sex in park restrooms. “I mean if a responsible homosexual would run for office and reject that kind of activity, if a responsible homosexual were to run for office and do something about the AIDS crisis -- recognizing that promiscuous activity has a heavy cost on human life and dollars.”

When asked if he would be remembered as the anti-gay mayor, Naugel disagreed, “I want to be remembered as one of the first politicians that rejected political correctness.”

There certainly was little politically correct about his 2007 campaign to rid the city's parks of gay men. Naugle said he had ordered police to arrest men accused of having sex in park restrooms because he was protecting children, and later added that he was saving lives from HIV. Yet, from the beginning of the controversy police reported few problems in the parks.

He also found himself in hot water later that year when he said, “I use the word homosexual. Most of them aren't gay; they're unhappy.”

Seiler, 45, is a married lawyer with four children. He approached the issue of Naugle's remarks in a recent forum where he said he wants everyone to “feel welcome” in Fort Lauderdale.

But then added he felt Naugle might have been misunderstood. “I think a lot of this was taken out of context,” Seiler said. “I think the comments at times, maybe even Jim wanted to have back the way those comments came out.”