August 20, 2010 at 10:20 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Mendelson could face 2nd gay challenger

It’s widely known that D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large), a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, is being challenged by gay former city parks and recreation director Clark Ray for the at-large seat in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.

But in a little-known development, Mendelson could face yet another gay challenger in the November general election. Darryl Moch, an ordained minister and assistant pastor at D.C.’s gay-oriented Inner Light Ministries, is one of two candidates running for the at-large seat in the Statehood Green Party primary on Sept. 14.

If Mendelson wins the Democratic primary and Moch defeats rival David Schwartzman in the Statehood Green primary, the two will go against each other in the general election. No Republican candidate is running for the seat.

Moch told the Blade earlier this month that he’s running as an openly gay candidate with a focus on his party’s longtime mission: to secure congressional voting rights and eventual statehood for the District of Columbia. He said he would be an aggressive supporter of LGBT issues on the Council and is a strong backer of the city’s same-sex marriage equality law.

“Overcoming the divisions that exist among religious, social and cultural groups is paramount,” Moch says on his campaign website, “I believe that bridging those divides will improve the quality of life for everyone and ultimately, the disadvantaged residents within a community.”

Moch also serves as executive director of the D.C.-based non-profit group Labor Heritage Foundation.

In addition to Ray and Moch, three other out gay candidates are running in the Sept. 14 primary. D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) is considered the favorite to win in the primary and in the November general election. Gay Republican Marc Morgan, who is running unopposed in the GOP primary in September, is expected to have an uphill fight against Graham in the November general election.

Gay Republican Timothy Day is also running unopposed in the GOP primary in Ward 5. He is expected to be the general election rival of incumbent Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas, who is considered the favorite in the Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, gay D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At-Large), who isn’t running in the primary, is considered the favorite to win re-election to his at-large seat in November.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • Be wary of the Democratic Party, be oh so wary ……..

    Catholic Trotskyist // Aug 20, 2010:

    The Catholic Trotskyist Party of America endorses all the efforts of the DC Statehood Green Party, despite its rivalry with the national Green Party as a whole. Making DC a state would help the Democratic Party and Catholic Trotskyism in the long run.

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