San Diego’s Next Mayor Might Be Gay Republican
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
October 09 2011 1:55 PM ET
Two of the top Republican candidates for mayor of San Diego are openly gay and voters have barely registered it. According to the Associated Press, the issue just doesn’t come up at campaign appearances or in local news coverage. That’s because lesbian district attorney Bonnie Dumanis and gay city council member Carl DeMaio haven’t made their marks as LGBT activists, which, say political watchers, may help explain why their sexual orientation has been a non-issue even among social conservatives. Neither makes a secret of being gay, but, as AP’s Elliot Spagat points out, they don't draw attention to it, either.
San Diego, America's eighth-largest city, has had a Republican mayor for almost two decades, which means both Dumanis and DeMaio are on the right side of the political divide. That could make for an interesting LGBT political victory, although there are only about 20 openly gay Republican elected officials nationwide, according to the Victory Fund. If either of these candidates win, San Diego would be the the nation's largest city to ever choose an openly gay GOP leader, say Donald Haider-Markel, author of Out and Running: Gay and Lesbian Candidates, Elections, and Policy Representation. What remains to be seen, he says, is whether the Republican party will endorse either candidate — financial backing and party support have been difficult for gay Republican candidates in the past.
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