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GOP Campaign ad features partner

Timothy Kincaid

February 13th, 2014

It is not uncommon for a political candidate to feature a spouse in a campaign ad. It’s a quick way to send a signal to the constituents that this is a good family man (or woman) who is settled and responsible and just like they are.

What is unusual, however, is for a gay candidate to make mention of their spouse or partner. Generally, that is seen as a difference from the voters, something to be minimized. Though many had partners, or were married, most presented a public image that could be mistaken for a sexless bachelor or spinster.

Until now.

Carl DeMaio, a Republican running for Congress from San Diego, has become the first serious candidate to do so. (Wall Street Journal)

Carl DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress this year, and he would be at least the third to serve in the House if he wins. But Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has, airing a campaign ad that features a shot of him with his same-sex partner.

The clips are brief: A shot of Mr. DeMaio holding hands with his partner, Johnathan Hale, as they march in a gay pride parade in 2012, followed by a clip of the San Diego candidate waving a rainbow flag that symbolizes the gay-rights movement.

Several GOP campaign officials and Elizabeth Wilner, who tracks campaign ads for the nonpartisan firm Kantar Media, said it was the first time they knew of a candidate of either party airing an ad featuring a gay partner.

It’s possible that there were other ads missed by Wilner. And some spouses have been publicly acknowledged or have been part of a campaign.

But, nevertheless, this is a rather remarkable moment. This signals that DeMaio, at least, believes that his relationship makes him a more connectable candidate than were he to be seen as single. And this is more noteworthy when considering that DeMaio’s ad comes in the primary season when he has a conservative GOP opponent.

It could be that we are reaching the point where, in some circles, gay relationships are no longer just tolerated but are an expectation, a sign that this is a serious responsible person. Just like the voters.

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Paul Douglas
February 13th, 2014 | LINK

Sounds like an interesting guy.
Too bad he has an “R” behind his name on the ballot. I have 35 years of bone to pick with anyone from that party who thinks I will vote for them, after all of the venom and sludge they’ve dumped on my community. He should run as an independent.

Tor
February 13th, 2014 | LINK

I understand DeMaio is quite the homocon.
Also, politically, while San Deigo is not San Francsico, it is not Fresno, either.

Lord_Byron
February 13th, 2014 | LINK

I will admit that it is rather interesting for him to run an ad of him with his partner and it is a rather well done ad, but I still would not vote for him if I could. In the ad there is a picture, very brief, of people turning their backs on the guy while walking in a pride parade. Apparently people turned there backs on him because of his stance on a couple issues. He had accepted the backing of individuals who had supported prop-8 and he is apparently extremely anti-union. He was supported by LCR and I seriously doubt that he is any sort of “new” republican. He will get into power and do the same thing that all the other members of the house have done. Do everything they can to try and prevent the president from getting anything done.

Rob in San Diego
February 14th, 2014 | LINK

I’m a San Diegan and I’d vote for him. It was a shame that he did not win the mayor position when he ran in 2012. Instead it went to that creep Bob Fillner who then was forced to step down for being a touchy grabby guy towards women.

@Lord Byron, sure every republican in office is going to fight Obama, but wouldn’t it be better to have openly gay republicans who are not going to vote against LGBT issues? There was a time when the republicans in office were all white males. Now there are females in there. Case in point, there would be no fight for equal pay for women in the republican party if those women were not there. Besides he’s trying to unseat douche bag Scott Peters who gave San Diegans this whole illegal pension debacle and has ruined our finances. Scott Peters also use to represent to the very rich and wealthy La Jolla area here in town. And though he is a democrat, I’d never vote for him either.

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