Residents of the 8th Congressional District are in the midst of a unique Democratic primary to replace our retiring Congressman Jim Moran. At this point we have 12 candidates vying to show that they are more progressive than the others — regardless of when they adopted their progressive platforms.
After reading in the Blade about three out gay Republicans running for Congress in other states I realized that our nation has turned a major political corner. With every candidate in this race fully supporting LGBT rights, marriage, non-discrimination, etc., we no longer have to focus on LGBT candidates in the same way. In fact, I am strongly supporting Adam Ebbin for many different reasons.
Yes, many of us know that Adam, who 11 years ago became the first openly gay member of the Virginia General Assembly, was also the man who persuaded two governors to sign the first executive orders protecting LGBT Virginians from discrimination in state employment and the legislator who expanded life insurance benefits to domestic partners long before the current wave of marriage victories. But we have moved past the time when it was essential to support the out candidate because they were out.
Why then am I strongly supporting Adam in this race? The answer is simple: He is by far the most successful legislator in the race. Adam is that rare individual who upholds our progressive values while partnering with the other party to get good legislation passed. Democrats have been in the minority in the Virginia General Assembly until the recent switch in the Senate. Adam has never let that stop him from reaching out to Republicans and finding ways to get progressive legislation passed.
Adam has written good legislation and, most importantly, passed many bills. Thanks to Adam, pregnant immigrant mothers now have access to Medicare; hybrid car owners no longer pay a tax penalty; and every homeowner can install solar panels. In other areas, Adam passed legislation establishing mental health pilot programs in community colleges, led our Commonwealth in fighting human trafficking and won approval of legislation to enable lower interest rates on deferred property taxes for seniors.
I encourage you to compare Adam’s record and consider who can most effectively champion our progressive values in the highly partisan House of Representatives.
Please join me, the Victory Fund, Sens. Chap Peterson and Mark Sickles, retired Sen. Patsy Ticer and many others, straight and gay alike, in supporting Adam’s campaign. America needs his unique ability to bring together legislators with very differing viewpoints to pass progressive legislation.
Seth Morrison is a resident of Arlington, Va.