New York State gay political group Empire State Pride Agenda on Saturday endorsed Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, for reelection. ESPA said that although both Pataki and his Democratic opponent, state comptroller H. Carl McCall, have supported the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, the incumbent earned the endorsement because of his record "on our issues and his willingness to use the power of his office to support equality for lesbian and gay New Yorkers." Matt Foreman, ESPA executive director, said his group recognized the governor's support of legislation that would protect gay people from abuse, harassment, and discrimination in employment, housing, and public services.
In making the announcement, Foreman noted that for the first time in New York State history, both gubernatorial candidates had actively sought support from gay voters. "Both Mr. McCall and Mr. Pataki have indicated a commitment to work with our community," Foreman said. "It has been difficult choosing between two candidates with solid records on our issues. Carl McCall is a longtime friend and supporter of the LGBT community. But because of the governor's record as an incumbent on our issues and his willingness to use the power of his office to support equality for lesbian and gay New Yorkers, the Pride Agenda endorses George Pataki for reelection as governor of New York."