A candidate who ran for D.C. mayor in 2010 on a platform supporting a voter referendum to overturn the city’s same-sex marriage law was paid $4,000 in December as a consultant to Democratic mayoral candidate Andy Shallal, according to campaign finance records.
Records filed with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance on Jan. 31 identify the consultant as 2010 mayoral candidate and former TV news anchor Leo Alexander.
In his run for mayor, Alexander’s campaign received at least $1,950 from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and was backed by Bishop Harry Jackson, the Maryland minister who led the unsuccessful campaign to repeal the city’s marriage equality law.
Alexander received less than 1 percent of the vote in the September 2010 Democratic primary, far behind then City Council Chair Vincent Gray, who won the primary and then Mayor Adrian Fenty, came in second place behind Gray.
Shallal has expressed strong support for LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage. As owner of the local Busboys and Poets restaurant chain, Shallal has hosted LGBT events at his restaurants.
Shallal campaign spokesperson Dwight Kirk told the Washington City Paper that Alexander met with Shallal before joining the campaign and promised that he changed his mind and that his positions “evolved” on the same-sex marriage issue since his 2010 campaign.
But City Paper columnist Will Sommer, who was the first to report Alexander’s connection with the Shallal campaign, said in a posting on Thursday that Alexander wouldn’t tell him whether his positions on gay marriage changed.
News of Alexander’s involvement in the Shallal campaign comes two weeks after news surfaced that an advocate for a voter referendum on the D.C. marriage equality law in 2010 was working as a paid consultant in January for Gray’s re-election campaign.
Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bob King, who was paid by the anti-gay NOM in 2010, is currently being paid to help the Gray campaign arrange logistics to drive senior citizens to the polls for the April 1 primary. Gray campaign chair Chuck Thies said King has no role in policy making issues and now accepts the marriage equality statute as the “law of the land.”
Alexander and Kirk couldn’t immediately be reached for comment by the Blade.