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Chapel Hill's First Openly-Gay Mayor Reflects On His Home

Mark Kleinschmidt
Town Of Chapel Hill


When Mark Kleinschmidt was a teenager growing up in Goldsboro, NC, he remembers watching the news as activist Joe Herzenberg was elected to the Chapel Hill Town Council. It was this race that made Joe Herzenberg the first openly gay elected official in the South. It was then that Kleinschmidt knew he had to get to Chapel Hill so he could be out and free to be who he wanted. Today, Kleinschmidt is serving his third term as the mayor of Chapel Hill. He's the town's first openly gay mayor. Mark Kleinschmidt talks with Host Frank Stasio about his career as mayor of Chapel Hill and his work as a death penalty litigator.

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Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.