Voters in Cleveland heading to the polls Tuesday will consider sending an openly lesbian candidate to the Ohio Statehouse.

If elected, Nickie J. Antonio would become the first openly lesbian to be elected to the Ohio House.

Should Antonio, a Lakewood councilwoman, best her primary rival, Tom Bullock, who also serves on the city council, she is virtually assured of the position in November since no other candidates have filed for the seat. (Filing deadline is Monday, however.)

Both are vying to represent the people of District 13. The Ohio House district includes portions of Cleveland's west side and the city of Lakewood, a Democratic-leaning Cleveland suburb which includes a large gay community.

Antonio was first elected to the Lakewood City Council in 2005 and chaired the council's Health and Human Services Committee. Having chaired the NorthCoast HIV/AIDS Coalition and served as president of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the National Organization for Women, she is an avowed champion of civic engagement.

Antonio has been endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that supports openly gay elected officials and The Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest daily.