Cleveland voters decided Tuesday to send openly lesbian Nickie J. Antonio to the Ohio House.

With 54 percent of the vote counted, Antonio bested rival Lakewood Councilman Tom Bullock to take the Democratic nomination to represent Ohio's District 13, a Democratic-leaning district which includes portions of Cleveland's west side and the city of Lakewood, a Cleveland suburb which includes a large gay community.

Only one other candidate has jumped into the race: independent candidate Jeremy Caldwell, who filed on Monday.

“She is certainly expected to win [in November],” Denis Dison, a vice president of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that supports openly gay elected officials, told On Top Magazine in an email.

Antonio was first elected to the Lakewood City Council in 2005 and chaired the council's Health and Human Services Committee. Having led 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. She was endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and The Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest daily.

Antonio will make history as the state's first openly gay state representative.

Dison said she'll become invaluable as lawmakers debate issues important to the gay and lesbian community.

“An openly LGBT state legislator has the power to change the debate about issues that affect our community and our families,” he said. “When the state House debates things like employment non-discrimination, adoption or partnership rights, Nickie will be the face and voice of the LGBT community in Ohio, and her presence, the relationships she builds with her colleagues – those things will matter.”