December 2, 2015 at 2:08 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay former Ehrlich aide announces run for Mikulski’s seat

Chrysovalantis Kefalas, gay news, Washington Blade

Chrysovalantis Kefalas, a one-time legal counsel to former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich, on Dec. 1, 2015, announced that he will run for retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)’s seat. (Photo courtesy of Chrysovalantis Kefalas)

A gay Republican who was former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich’s legal counsel on Tuesday formally announced he will run for retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)’s seat.

Chrysovalantis Kefalas broke the news during an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.

“I’m running for the U.S. Senate because Marylanders have asked for a real choice and a different direction,” said Kefalas in a statement his campaign released. “The same politicians who’ve created the messes we’re in can’t possibly make our state and country safer and stronger.”

Kefalas, 36, is the vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers in D.C. The son of Greek immigrants last month announced that he and Tommy McFly, a radio host on WIAD in D.C., recently became engaged.

“Throughout my career I’ve served my neighbors and fought for opportunity for everyone,” said Kefalas in his statement. “I will work every day to fight to give small businesses and the middle class a seat at the table. And I will lead a campaign everyone in Maryland can be proud of.”

Kefalas in 2011 publicly discussed his sexual orientation for the first time when he testified in support of a same-sex marriage bill that was before a Maryland Senate subcommittee.

The gay Republican told the Washington Blade earlier this year that he would “champion” LGBT-specific issues if elected to the U.S. Senate. Kefalas also noted that Gov. Larry Hogan was “one of the first people to support him” when he came out.

Kefalas — who would be the first openly gay Republican elected to either house of Congress if he were to win the general election — in October received an endorsement from the Log Cabin Republicans.

“He’s the right Republican candidate at the right time to appeal to Maryland voters of all political stripes,” Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo told the Blade on Wednesday.

Mikulski in March announced she will retire from the U.S. Senate once her term ends in 2016.

Kefalas joins state Del. Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore and Harford Counties), Anthony Seda and Richard Douglas who are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Mikulski. U.S. Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are also running for the Democrat’s seat.

Former state Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County) in April announced that she will not run for Mikulski’s seat. The Montgomery County Democrat subsequently endorsed Van Hollen.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

5 Comments
  • “Kefalas in 2011 publicly discussed his sexual orientation for the first time when he testified in support of a same-sex marriage bill that was before a Maryland Senate subcommittee.”

    So he made a career for himself and only then came out?

    “‘I’m running for the U.S. Senate because Marylanders have asked for a real choice and a different direction,’ said Kefalas”

    That direction sounds like it is one careening toward the 1950s – and I doubt seriously that anyone other than the Log Cabin-oids has actually asked for the state to go in that direction.

    • So it sounds like he came out when he was ready, and at the right time too, as he was openly supporting the bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. What’s so wrong with that? Are you advocating that he should have came out, or God-forbid, been outed, before he was ready?

      And please explain your 1950s reference to me. Unless you’re reading other platform material that isn’t in the article, it sounds like he’s talking about advocating for small-business and supporting the middle class. Aren’t those pretty bipartisan values?

      I need to hear more from him, and as Dem, I probably won’t vote for the guy, but your comment just doesn’t really make any sense to me.

      • the repubs general game is that people who dont toe the mark re its often extrmiest positions – they get crushed in the next primary

        Ssure there are many decent “establishment” repubs but its the old story that the leadership sux
        Hope you saw the new budget passed in DC. Knowing they would get creamed in 2016, the budget goes thru 2017, will cost eg people on medicare about $90 per couple, not bad and other key thing………

        medicare D by bush jr – what it forbade was the govt negotiating with the drugg cos re costs (gvt is single largest payer re drugs)
        now thats changed, I think it applied to generics

  • Is the Blade run by Log Cabiners or something. No one else, Republican or Democrat, seems to care more about gay Republicans than the WB.

  • meanwhile he would like lots of repubs try and destroy what virtually every westernized country has – guaraneed medical care at an affordable price –

    the anti ACA crowd is the unholly alliance of the right wing churches that claim to protect life while joining with the insurance industry

    Most important re the ACA = no exclusions allowed re pre-existing conditions

    when I checked about 15 years ago they wanted $30k for coverage since i had one prostate biopsy. Now I have 5 or 6 other health issues that could become a problem

    BTW the aca requires that80% of premiums go to benefits. This helps end what some companies did – had floors of people findng every possible excuse to not pay

    also dont know about others but golden rule (bible thumper co?) they were keeping 50% of premiums for profit and presumeably living high off the hog

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