GOP Campaign ad features partner
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.
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.
Gay Mayor Sworn In
January 3rd, 2009
Sam Adams, who was elected to replace Portland Oregon’s outgoing mayor Tom Potter, was sworn into office on New Years Day. About 40 people were present, including Adams’ partner Peter Zuckerman. Portland is now the largest U.S. city with an openly gay mayor.
Jared Polis Wins CO Congressional Primary
August 13th, 2008
According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Jared Polis of Colorado will likely become the first openly gay man to be elected to the U.S. Congress as a non-incumbent. (Tammy Baldwin was the first out candidate to do this back in 1998.) Polis won the Democratic primary last night for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. As the Democratic nominee in an overwhelmingly Democratic district, Polis is nearly certain to win the seat in November.
This is further evidence of mainstreaming of gays and lesbians in middle America. While many who consider themselves progressives dismiss the “flyover states” as backwards and homophobic, voters in Wisconsin and Colorado have demonstrated that they have no problem with electing an openly gay person to fill a seat in Congress.
Carl DeMaio Wins City Council Seat
June 4th, 2008
Ex-gay gadfly James Hartline did not place in the top three contenders for District 3. It seems that the good Christians of San Diego must have failed the test that Hartline thinks God set out for them.
Portland Elects Gay Mayor
May 21st, 2008
Portland elected Sam Adams to be the city’s mayor yesterday, making Portland the largest city so far to elect an openly gay city executive. As of 11:33 PDT last night, he was leading his closest rival, businessman Sho Dozono by a margin of 58% to 34% with 77% of the votes counted.
“I’m running not to be a gay mayor, but a great mayor,” he said after giving his victory speech last night. “But I’m very cognizant, very aware that I’m the first openly gay mayor of a major American city. That’s a real honor”