Entries from: 2012 Elections

Victory Fund celebrates huge night for gay candidates

TammyChuck1Hundreds of openly lesbian, gay and bisexual candidates won election to public offices across America yesterday, including the nation’s first openly gay U.S. Senator, at least six openly gay members of the U.S. House, and seven who will make history as the first or only out lawmakers serving in their state legislatures.

“This wasn’t incremental progress.  This was a breathtaking leap forward,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.  ”Tammy Baldwin’s victory in the face of tens of millions of dollars in super PAC spending against her is a testament to the enormous power of people who believe in and fight for progress, fairness and equality. LGBT candidates and their allies this year showed we are willing to engage fully in the political process to win the freedom we deserve.”

Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s historic victory in the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin capped big wins in House races, including one for the seat she has held for seven terms.  Mark Pocan was elected in Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District, becoming the first gay candidate who will follow an openly gay member of Congress.

In New York, Sean Patrick Maloney was elected in the 18th Congressional District.  In California’s 41st Congressional District, Mark Takano became the first openly gay person of color to win election to the U.S. House.  In Arizona, former state lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema was elected in the newly-drawn 9th Congressional District.  She became the first openly bisexual member of Congress. U.S. Reps. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., won reelection to their seats.

Seven state legislatures gained their first or only openly LGBT state lawmakers this year, including North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida, which went from zero to two gay legislators.  And in Oregon and Colorado, state legislative election results have positioned two out lawmakers to become House Speakers.

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Tammy Baldwin releases ad featuring President Bill Clinton

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Get involved today to help elect the 1st openly LGBT U.S. Senator.

Tammy Baldwin, who could become the first openly LGBT U.S. Senator, released a final ad featuring President Bill Clinton:

In the final days before the election, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is encouraging supporters across the country to help get out the vote for Tammy Baldwin from their homes. Victory has also organized a strategy call for supporters with Tammy Baldwin on Wednesday, October 31, at 4:30pm EDT.

Bisexual woman wins Arizona congressional primary

Openly bisexual candidate Kyrsten Sinema won a Democratic primary tonight and will advance to the November general election in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. She will face the winner of tonight’s Republican primary, which is currently too close to call.

If elected, Sinema would be the first-ever openly bisexual member of Congress and the only out woman in the U.S. House. Before running for Congress, she served in the Arizona state legislature. Sinema was elected to the State Senate in 2010, and prior to that, she served in the State House from 2005 to 2010.

“Kyrsten is a proven leader who stands up for what’s right and knows how to get results,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, which endorsed Sinema. “We’re extremely proud of her hard-fought victory tonight and committed to helping bring her authentic voice for LGBT equality to Capitol Hill in November.”

Sinema is one of eight out candidates running for Congress this year, potentially doubling LGBT representation in Washington from the current four.

Poll: Independents OK with gay candidates

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The nation’s largest voting block appears to be pretty comfortable with openly gay political candidates, according to new a poll.

Public Policy Polling finds 71 percent of Independent voters say they could vote for an openly gay political candidate.  In fact, 8 percent said that fact would make them more likely to vote for the candidate, while 63 percent said a candidate’s homosexuality wouldn’t make a difference to them.  Just 29 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for a candidate.

Among Republicans, the poll found 53 percent would be less likely to vote for a candidate they knew to be  gay, with 38 percent saying it wouldn’t make a difference and 9 percent saying they’d be more likely to vote for a gay candidate.

The PPP poll was conducted among 1,071 Republican and Independent voters January 13-15, 2012, for the HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher.”  The poll did not survey Democrats, nor did pollsters ask specifically about lesbian, bisexual or transgender candidates. Full results are here.

Anti-gay Senate candidate aims fire at Baldwin

neumannU.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., has yet to announce whether she’ll run for the Senate, but already a Republican challenger has emerged who sees her as his main competition.

Mark Neumann, a former Congressman who previously failed in statewide bids for the U.S. Senate and Wisconsin governor, announced today he’s once again running to represent the state in the U.S. Senate – this time to replace outgoing Sen. Herb Kohl.

As a staunch social conservative, Neumann’s record on LGBT issues contrasts sharply with Baldwin’s.  In 1996, Neumann said, “If I were elected God for a day, homosexuality wouldn’t be permitted.”  Years later he clarified the remark, explaining he would not want God’s job.

Neumann has also suggested he wouldn’t hire an openly gay staffer.  ”If somebody walks in to me and says, ‘I’m a gay person, I want a job in your office,’ I would say that’s inappropriate, and they wouldn’t be hired because that would mean they are promoting their agenda,” Neumann said in an address to the Christian Coalition.  ”The gay and lesbian lifestyle (is) unacceptable, lest there be any question about that.”

Neumann will likely face former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson in a battle for the Republican nomination, but already his campaign team is focusing its fire on Baldwin, the first and only openly lesbian member of Congress.

“I believe our opponent is Tammy Baldwin and I believe it is essential that we bring Tammy Baldwin’s record to the forefront,” Neumann said.