About 50 people turned out Tuesday night for a meet-and-greet fundraising reception hosted by former Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese for independent at-large D.C. Council candidate Khalid Pitts.
Lesbian candidate and former HRC staffer Courtney Snowden, who’s also an independent, is among 14 candidates competing with Pitts for two at-large Council seats on the ballot in the Nov. 4 election.
Solmonese told the Blade during the event, held at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture store on 14th Street, N.W., that he agreed to support Pitts, a longtime friend, before Snowden entered the race. He and Pitts, who said he considers himself a good friend of Snowden, praised Snowden for her accomplishments as a longtime LGBT advocate.
Pitts, a restaurant owner and community activist, said he would be a “champion” for LGBT rights if elected to the Council, saying he believes he’s the most qualified of the 15 candidates for the job.
“I want to remind everybody that you’ve got two votes in this race,” Pitts told the Blade, suggesting that LGBT residents could vote for both him and Snowden. Doing that, however, would place LGBT voters in a position to not back incumbent Council member Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), a longtime supporter of the LGBT community.
Also among the 15 candidates competing for one of the two seats is out gay Republican Marc Morgan.
Pitts told the Blade it was an “internal mix-up” within his campaign that resulted in his not returning a candidate questionnaire to the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance. The failure to return the questionnaire last month resulted in his receiving a “0” rating from GLAA on LGBT issues.
Pitts said he has since submitted the questionnaire after GLAA invited him and a few other candidates that missed the deadline to turn in the document. GLAA is expected to adjust its ratings for those candidates.