A gay Republican candidate lost on Tuesday to his Democratic opponent in a bid for a competitive U.S. House seat in Massachusetts.
Richard Tisei, a former Republican leader in the Massachusetts State Senate, lost his bid for the state’s 6th congressional district to Democrat Seth Moulton. According to Boston’s WBUR, Tisei called Moulton to concede around 9:25 p.m.
At the time he conceded, the numbers were just beginning to trickle in, but already showed a lead for Moulton. According to MassLive, with only 15 percent of precincts reporting, Moulton led Tisei, 54-43.
The race was contentious in the LGBT community because Tisei was set to vote for Republican leadership if he had prevailed. Many gay Democratic activists urged support instead for his Democratic opponent.
Tisei had the backing of Log Cabin Republicans and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. The Human Rights Campaign didn’t issue an endorsement in the race.
Had Tisei won, he could have been one of the first non-incumbent openly gay Republicans to win election to Congress and one of the first openly gay Republicans to serve in the U.S. House since the retirement of former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) in 2007.
But Tisei wasn’t the only gay Republican on the ballot in this election. Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego Council member, was seeking to oust incumbent Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). That race remains to close to call.