In a little-noticed development, the Libertarian Party candidates running in an uphill race for D.C. Council chair and D.C. attorney general are gay men who are a married couple.
Ethan Bishop-Henchman is running for Council chair against Democratic incumbent Phil Mendelson, and his husband, Joe Henchman, is running for attorney general against incumbent Democrat Karl Racine.
Both told the Washington Blade on Sunday that, while not at all hiding their status as gay men, they have emphasized their views on how best to use libertarian principles to improve the lives of D.C. residents rather than focus on their sexual orientation during their respective campaigns.
Longtime gay Libertarian Party activist Martin Moulton is running a longshot race for mayor against Democratic incumbent Muriel Bowser. Bruce Majors, another longtime Libertarian activist, is running a similar uphill race for the D.C. Congressional Delegate seat held by Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton.
Bowser, Mendelson, Racine, and Norton, who are considered odds-on favorites to win re-election, have longstanding records of strong support for LGBT rights. Ethan and Joe Henchman said they would be champions for LGBT equality if elected to office.
In a development that may surprise local political observers, the Henchmans said they are both supporting the most visible LGBT candidate running in Tuesday’s D.C. election, lesbian businesswoman Dionne Reeder. Reeder is running as an independent against incumbent at-large Council member Elissa Silverman, who’s also an independent.
“Speaking of Dionne, we are giving her our full endorsement,” said Ethan Bishop-Henchman.
Political observers say Reeder, who has served as the Ward 8 community services coordinator under former Mayor Anthony Williams among other government and private sector positions, has a shot at beating Silverman in the hotly contested race for one of two at-large Council seats up for election this year. Silverman has a long record of support on LGBT issues and is being backed by some LGBT activists.
Gay independent candidate Jamie Sycamore, a professional sign language translator and activist, is running in an uphill race for the Ward 1 D.C. Council seat held by incumbent Democrat Brianne Nadeau. Nadeau, a strong supporter of LGBT rights, is considered the strong favorite to win re-election.
In a separate development, another 10 candidates running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats in Tuesday’s election have been identified as LGBT by people who know them, bringing the number of known LGBT ANC candidates running this year as incumbents or challengers to 30.
Those who know the additional 10 candidates contacted the Blade about them following the Blade’s election story last week, which reported the names of 20 LGBT ANC candidates that were known to the Blade at that time. Two of the newly identified gay ANC candidates are running against each other. Incumbent John Tinpe, who holds the ANC 2C01 seat, which is located in the Chinatown area in Ward 2, is being challenged by gay civic activist Michael Shankle.
Following is an updated list of the 30 known LGBT candidates running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats in Tuesday’s election:
Kent Boese, 1A08 (unopposed)
Michael Wray, 1A09 (unopposed)
Celeb-Michael Files, 1B02
James Turner, 1B09 (unopposed)
Rob Hudson, 1B11 (unopposed)
Japer Bowles, 1C07
Mathew Sampson, 2B01 (unopposed)
Vincent Slatt, 2B03
Nick Delle Donne, 2B04
Randy Downs (2B05 (unopposed)
Mike Silverstein, 2B06 (unopposed)
John Tinpe, 2C01
Michael Shankle, 2C01
Jason Forman, 2F01 (unopposed)
John Guggenmos, 2F02 (unopposed)
John Fanning, 2F04 (unopposed)
Kevin Sylvester, 2F07 (unopposed)
Lee Brian Reba, 3C01
Monika Nemeth, 3F06
Dan Bradfield, 3G06 (unopposed)
Aaron Polkey, 4D03 (unopposed)
Robb Dooling, 6C06 (unopposed)
Ron Collins, 6D03 (unopposed)
Andy Litsky, 6D04 (unopposed)
Roger Moffatt, 6D05
Brandt J. Miller, 6D07
Alexander “Alex” Padro, 6E01
Catherine Woods, 7C03 (unopposed)
Anthony Lorenzo Green, 7C04 (unopposed)
Mysiki Valentine, 7D04