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Victory Fund announces ‘Ten Races to Watch’

Cicilline, Pougnet among the highlighted candidates

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A gay Republican seeking office in the Nevada State Legislature and a gay politician vying to become mayor of a Kentucky city are among the candidates the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is highlighting as part of its recently announced “Ten Races to Watch.”

On Monday, the Victory Fund identified the names of ten endorsed candidates in races that the organization believes could have a significant impact on LGBT community.

The ten candidates represent a portion of the 164 candidates the organization has endorsed in all of 2010 and more than 100 candidates who are facing election in November, according to the Victory Fund.

In a statement, Chuck Wolfe, the Victory Fund’s president, predicted that 2010 will be “a banner year” for the organization and its mission to elect openly LGBT people to public office.

“We know out elected officials can be a leading political indicator of real change, so it’s exciting to see so many candidates stepping up to run for office this year,” Wolfe said.

The Victory Fund statement highlights each of the candidates running in the “Ten Races to Watch” in alphabetical order:

Marcus Brandon — North Carolina House of Representatives (60th District)

With the retirement of N.C. State Sen. Julia Boseman, Brandon would become North Carolina’s only openly LGBT state legislator, and one of just five out African-American state lawmakers in the U.S. Brandon ousted a four-term incumbent in the Democratic primary, and now faces a Republican opponent on November 2.

David Cicilline — U.S. House of Representatives (Rhode Island, 1st Congressional District)

Providence Mayor David Cicilline beat three primary opponents to stand in the general election this November. If he wins, Cicilline would become just the seventh openly gay or lesbian person to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Jim Gray — Mayor, Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington Vice Mayor Jim Gray is in a close race for the city’s top elected office. The construction company executive is passionate about running city government like he has run his family’s nationally known business, Gray Construction. Gray was elected Vice Mayor in 2006 by an overwhelming margin.

Dan Hill — Nevada House of Representatives (District 29)

Dan could become the new face of the Republican Party in Nevada. He’s a staunch fiscal conservative who  believes the party will thrive if it also stays out of citizens’ personal lives. As an openly gay man, Dan could help bridge the political divide on issues like LGBT equality.

Laurie Jinkins — Washington House of Representatives (District 27)

As a public health and education advocate, social justice leader, community volunteer, lawyer, and mom, Laurie Jinkins is a problem solver with a track record of bringing diverse people and interests together to help working families build community, and to make sure the marginalized have a voice. In Olympia, Laurie will be a strong voice for positive change, and the state legislature’s first openly lesbian member.


Aaron Kampfe — Montana State Senate (District 30)

This two-term city council member from Red Lodge, Montana is now running for the State Senate, where he would join two other out state legislators whose authentic voices represent the LGBT community in state government. Red Lodge is the largest city in this Senate district, and Aaron is well-known to area voters.

Victoria Kolakowski — Superior Court Judge, Alameda County, Calif.

Victoria Kolakowski, a lawyer and administrative law judge with a strong background as an LGBT civil rights advocate, is running to become a judge on Superior Court of Alameda County, California. If she wins, Victoria will become America’s first openly transgender judge.

Kevin Lembo — Connecticut State Comptroller

Kevin Lembo could become one of just a handful of openly LGBT people ever to be elected statewide, and that would make him one of the highest-ranking openly gay government officials in America.

Evan Low — Mayor, Campbell, Calif.

At 26, Evan Low is currently the youngest openly gay mayor in America. He was elected to the post by his colleagues on the city council in December, a testament to his remarkable leadership skills and bright future. He’s facing nine candidates in an election to fill just two positions on the city council.

Steve Pougnet — U.S. House of Representatives (California, 45th Congressional District)

Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet could become the first and only openly gay parent if he’s able to beat the GOP incumbent, Rep. Mary Bono Mack. Pougnet is Bono Mack’s strongest challenger in years, and among the Democratic Party’s greatest chances to pick up a seat now held by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Victory Fund Sucks

    October 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Victory Fund is nothing more than a “in the club,” group. Several LGBT elections have been left off here. Shame on them.

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Politics

Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire host says 2 men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies

” […] because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.”

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Screenshot of Matt Walsh via YouTube (Blade file photo)

NASHVILLE – Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire podcast and YouTuber Matt Walsh joined the growing chorus of far-right and conservative voices outraged that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave from his job in August after he and his husband Chasten had adopted two children.

On his show Monday Walsh not only criticized Buttigieg, but he attacked same-sex couples adopting children altogether.

It’s absurd for any public employee, paid on taxpayer dime, to be given that much time off. Now, you can make an argument for women on maternity leave but not for men. Paternity leave is a nice luxury for private companies that can afford it. The U.S. government is not a private company – it’s a public institution, deeply in debt, failing in just about every way and everywhere. So this is not a time and not the place for those kinds of luxuries. But that’s the somewhat safer point to make, right? You are in a much more hazardous place, you are in more hazardous waters when you go away from that and, instead, you start saying mildly critical things about paternity leave in general as a concept.”

I also didn’t say that there’s nothing at all for a man to do for his family after a child is born. I said that as far as caring for the newborn himself, most of that is going to be done by the mother. She, in most cases, will be feeding the child. The child also needs and wants his mother’s presence, his mother’s touch, her voice. The father should be interacting with the baby also, obviously, but the infant is far more focused on his mother at that age. And needs his mother more. There is no mother in the Buttigieg household, but that doesn’t change the point here.”

Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place. And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.

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Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

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National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

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President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

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