Democratic activist and attorney Drew Hubbard and gay Republican Timothy Day, an accountant, received the highest ratings on LGBT-related issues from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance in their race for the city’s Ward 5 City Council seat.
Eleven candidates – nine Democrats, one Republican, and one independent – are competing in a special election scheduled for May 15. The election was called to fill the seat after incumbent Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) resigned earlier this year after being indicted on an embezzlement charge.
Hubbard received a GLAA rating of +5.5. Day received a +5.0 rating. GLAA rates candidates on a scale of +10, the highest possible rating, to -10, the lowest rating.
The group bases its ratings on candidates’ responses to a questionnaire and their record on LGBT-related issues.
In a statement released with the ratings, GLAA said Hubbard agreed with GLAA on every issue it raised in its questionnaire but added, “He did not display the depth of knowledge in his responses that we like and he does not have a strong record; but the content of his responses was better than that of his rivals. This is a good rating for a first-time candidate.”
The group said Day generally agrees with GLAA on most issues and his record on issues of concern to GLAA is “mixed, but overall positive.” But GLAA said Day lost points by expressing support for publicly funded vouchers for private schools, something GLAA opposes on grounds that private religious schools are exempt from the city’s human rights law and are free to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
GLAA said Day also lost points for “openly” opposing medical marijuana cultivation centers in Ward 5 under the city’s recent action legalizing medical marijuana.
The group assigned these ratings to the remaining candidates:
• Kenyan McDuffie (Democrat), +4
• Rae Zapata (Democrat), +2
• Ron Magnus (Democrat), +1.5
• Delano Hunter (Democrat), +0.5
• John Cheeks (Independent), 0
• Shelly Gardner (Democrat), 0
• Kathy Henderson (Democrat), 0
• Ruth Marshall (Democrat), 0
• Frank Wilds (Democrat), 0
GLAA said the candidates receiving a “0” rating failed to return the group’s questionnaire and the group was unaware of their record on LGBT issues. It says it assigns a zero rating to all candidates that don’t return the questionnaire and have an unknown record on LGBT issues.
The GLAA questionnaire responses of the Ward 5 candidates are available for viewing at GLAA.org. Their responses to another LGBT related questionnaire from the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political group, can be viewed at steindemocrats.org.