October 16, 2013 at 7:35 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Sciortino loses bid for Congress
Carl Sciortino, Democratic Party, Massachusetts, Middlesex, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay Massachusetts State Rep. Carl Sciortino lost his bid to represent Massachusetts in Congress. (Photo by Seth Rau)

A gay congressional candidate lost his bid on Tuesday to claim the Democratic nomination to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. House.

Massachusetts State Rep. Carl Sciortino, who was running to fill the seat Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) vacated in Massachusetts’ 5th congressional district, came in third in a crowded Democratic primary contest.

In a message via Twitter, Sciortino congratulated State Sen. Katherine Clark on her victory in addition to thanking the team that helped his campaign.

According to a tally from the Associated Press, Clark came in first with 32 percent of the vote, followed by Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian with 22 percent of the vote, then Sciortino with 16 percent. Clark is favored in the general election in the heavily Democratic district.

Endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Sciortino emphasized his progressive values in his bid for Congress. A web campaign video of him “coming out” as a progressive to his Tea Party father went viral and garnered national attention for his campaign.

As a state lawmaker, Sciortino is credited with helping beat back a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and guiding a transgender civil rights law toward passage.

Last week, Sciortino married his partner of more than five years, Pem Brown, in a ceremony in Boston at the Old South Meeting House, where people came to celebrate in 2003 following the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, praised Sciortino’s campaign.

“Carl had a strong showing in a race that was an uphill battle from the get-go,” Solomon said. “Even though he didn’t win, he inspired people all across the state and the country with his passion for liberal ideals and his decency and goodness. He has a great future in front of him as a leader advancing equality for the LGBT community and justice for us all.”

It’s possible that Clark’s victory could open a new opportunity for Sciortino. As Daily Kos pointed out, the district he represents in the state House, which consists of parts of Malden and Medford, lies within the district she represents in the state Senate. Sciortino could seek to run for the office she’s vacating. His campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on his future plans.

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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