The Log Cabin Republicans of the District of Columbia voted on Feb. 17 to endorse six of its members as candidates to become delegates from D.C. to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
All six of the candidates, who are gay men, said they are running to become uncommitted delegates. They are among 169 registered Republicans who are competing for 16 delegate seats and 16 alternate delegate slots at a March 12 D.C. Republican Party convention set to take place at the Lowes Madison Hotel.
“I’m thrilled to see so many of our members running and am optimistic at the prospects our members could bring to the Republican Party and the District,” said Chris Allen, president of the D.C. Log Cabin group, which is a chapter of the national Log Cabin Republicans organization.
The announced candidates include D.C. Log Cabin head Allen, National Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory Angelo, and local gay GOP activists Joe Brookman, Stephen Jordan, Rick Oettinger and Justin Kingsolver.
Under rules established by the D.C. Republican Committee, the March 12 convention will also serve as a presidential preference primary of sorts, giving all registered Republicans in the city a chance to vote for the GOP presidential candidate of their choice. Under a proportional voting system, the city’s 16 delegate and 16 alternate delegate seats will be assigned to one or more of the GOP presidential candidates depending on their vote totals.
Jose Cunningham, the gay chair of the D.C. Republican Party, said all delegates and alternates elected at the D.C. convention — even if they are running as uncommitted — will be bound to vote on the first ballot taken at the Republican National Convention in July for the presidential candidate who wins the “preference” vote at the D.C. GOP convention.
In other action at its Feb. 17 meeting, members of D.C. Log Cabin Republicans voted unanimously to endorse the re-election of lesbian businesswoman Jill Homan as D.C. Republican National Committeewoman and gay attorney Bob Kabel as D.C. Republican National Committeeman. The positions make them members of the Republican National Committee.
Both said their role as RNC members during the past four years has enabled them to develop relationships with fellow RNC members from throughout the country in an effort to build support for LGBT rights within the Republican Party.
Holman and Kabel will be on the GOP ballot in the city’s June 14 primary in which candidates for all of the city’s political parties will be running under their party’s banner.
D.C. Log Cabin Republicans also endorsed at their Feb. 17 meeting Dave Oberting, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for one of two at-large D.C. Council seats currently held by Democrat Vincent Orange and independent David Grosso. Oberting, who serves as executive director of Economic Growth D.C. Foundation, a nonprofit group, told Log Cabin members he supports efforts to ban LGBT discrimination “in the workplace and in public accommodations.”
Log Cabin President Allen said he is certain that other gay or lesbian Republicans are among the 169 delegate and alternate candidates competing in the March 12 convention. He said he was reluctant to disclose their names until he has a chance to ask them whether they want to disclose their sexual orientation.