Gay Republican Runs Ad Featuring Partner
Carl DeMaio, a Republican running for Congress in California, is running an ad that many Republicans probably don’t approve of:
In what could be a political first, a gay Republican congressional candidate released a campaign ad featuring shots with his partner.
Carl DeMaio, who is running for the GOP nomination in California’s 52nd Congressional District to challenge Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, included shots of he and his partner Johnathan Hale at a gay pride parade. GOP consultants and independent media analysts told the Wall Street Journal that they believed it was that first time that a candidate from either party had released an ad with a same-sex partner.
“This is who I am,” DeMaio told the Journal. “It’s something that’s important to me. I want to embrace equality, and feel like the party should, too.”
He told the newspaper that he had wanted to feature Hale in ads during his unsuccessful run for San Diego mayor in 2012, but his then-campaign advisers discouraged it. He’s since hired new talent, he said.
Here’s how DeMaio put it in that Wall Street Journal interview:
“This is who I am,” Mr. DeMaio said in an interview. “It’s something that’s important to me. I want to embrace equality, and feel like the party should, too.”
Mr. DeMaio, who presents himself as a “new generation Republican,” isn’t a long shot trying to make a splash. He is one of the party’s top challengers this year as it tries to unseat Democratic Rep. Scott Peters. Although other Republicans are running for the seat, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) has given Mr. DeMaio $10,000, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) contributed $5,000. Conservative Georgia Rep. Tom Price kicked in $1,000.
In addition to Mr. DeMaio, two other openly gay Republicans are trying to unseat incumbent Democrats in the House: Dan Innis in New Hampshire and Richard Tisei in Massachusetts.
The difference between DeMaio and Messers. Innis and Tisei is that DeMaio is considered the frontrunner in a race that many analysts, including the Cook Political Report, view as a toss-up. In other words, there’s a good chance that DeMaio could actually defeat his Democratic opponent and join his Republican colleagues in Congress.
Here’s the ad: