Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Backs Roth

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund announced Tuesday it has endorsed 100 openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political candidates in 2008, making this endorsement slate the group's largest ever.
LGBT candidates are
running for offices at all levels of government, from school boards to the U.S. Congress, according to the group.
Chuck Wolfe, the Victory Fund's president and CEO,
said the surge in openly LGBT candidates in 2008 reflects the community's growing willingness to embrace political leadership as a path to change: "I think reaching this milestone is a testament to a new attitude in our community about how to achieve political change. We don't have to accept sitting on the sidelines and hoping others will do the heavy lifting. We can roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves."
The Victory Fund expects to continue endorsing candidates for a few more weeks, according to Laura Esquivel, senior vice president for political affairs. "This is a really exciting political season for the LGBT community. We're extremely proud of the out candidates who are stepping up to run for office all across America, and of the role that the Victory Fund plays in preparing and supporting these candidates. We'll endorse in even more races in the next couple of weeks, putting us well past 100 candidates for the year," Esquivel said.
The Victory Fund is the nation's largest LGBT political action committee, and the only national organization dedicated to increasing the number of out elected officials at all levels of government. Since its founding in 1991, the number of openly LGBT elected officials in the U.S. has grown from less than 50 to more than 420.
10 Victory Fund Highlight Races:
Jason Bartlett — State Representative, Connecticut — Rep. Bartlett came out in 2008 during his current term, making him one of only two openly gay African-American state legislators in the U.S. His reelection would confirm that serving honestly and openly as LGBT is not a barrier to retaining the trust of constituents.
· Kate Brown — Secretary of State, Oregon — Sen. Kate Brown, who currently serves as the Democratic Leader in the Oregon Senate, would become the first openly LGBT Secretary of State in the U.S. In Oregon, the office is the second-highest ranking elected post behind the governor.
· Linda Ketner — U.S. Representative, South Carolina — Linda Ketner is a longtime businesswoman, community activist and philanthropist who is seeking to represent South Carolina's 1st Congressional District in the House of Representatives. She faces an entrenched Republican incumbent, but the state’s political press says Ketner's campaign has made the race competitive.
· Kevin Lee — State Representative, Pennsylvania — Kevin Lee would become the Keystone State's first out representative, which would be a milestone for Pennsylvania's substantial LGBT community. Kevin hopes to represent a swing district in suburban Philadelphia.
· Andrew Martin—State Representative, Nevada — Andrew Martin is seeking a seat in the Nevada Assembly, where he would be the only out state representative. Current state Rep. David Parks, who is also openly gay, is running for the State Senate.
· Sara Orozco—State Senate, Massachusetts — Sara Orozco would be the only openly LGBT state senator in Massachusetts. She faces a notoriously anti-gay incumbent.
· John Perez—State Assembly, California — If elected, John Perez would become the first openly LGBT person of color elected to the California legislature. Perez' strong support from both the labor and LGBT groups reflects growing alliances between the two communities.
· Jared Polis — U.S. Representative, Colorado — Jared Polis, the former chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, won a hard-fought Democratic primary to represent the 2nd Congressional District. If elected, Jared would become the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.
· Jim Roth — Corporation Commission, Oklahoma — Jim Roth was appointed to this powerful statewide regulatory commission by Gov. Brad Henry after winning two terms on the Oklahoma County Commission. He is now running to keep the seat. Roth would become the first openly gay statewide elected official in Oklahoma.
· Lupe Valdez — Sheriff, Dallas County, Texas — Lupe Valdez became the first woman, the first Latina and the first out lesbian ever elected to this post when she won in 2004. Republicans, still smarting from having lost the seat for the first time in a century, have targeted this county-wide race.

Labels: ,

Share |