February 3, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Gay man seeks seat on Alexandria City Council
Sean Holihan and Danny Barefoot, gay news, gay politics dc

Sean Holihan and his partner Danny Barefoot. (courtesy Sean Holihan for City Council)

A local gay Democratic activist in Virginia is pursuing a seat on the Alexandria City Council.

Sean Holihan, communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and former president of the Young Democrats of Virginia, launched his bid last month during a meeting of the Alexandria Democratic Committee.

Holihan, who’s 30 and lives in Alexandria with his partner of three years, Danny Barefoot, said he wants to pursue a seat on the Council to be part of the change underway in Alexandria.

“We’ve got a new city manager, we’ve got developments in every center of the city,” Holihan said. “We’re going to have new members serving our Council because of two retirements, so I feel like it’s a good time to work and make an impact on the city.”

Among the projects that Holihan said he wants to pursue are protecting core services such as public safety education, and shepherding through a new Metro stop in Potomac Yard. As far as LGBT issues, Holihan said he’d like to help raise money to elect LGBT people to political offices throughout the country.

“We’re a huge state; we’ve got 11 congressional seats, and we’ve only got six members of the LGBT community elected to office and most of them are on the local level,” Holihan said.

If elected, Holihan would be the second sitting openly gay person to sit on the Alexandria City Council. The other gay member is Paul Smedberg.

The Democratic primary in which Holihan will compete is currently scheduled for June 12, but redistricting could delay the election until Aug. 21. The top six vote winners in the Democratic Party will face off against Republican challengers in the general election.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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