Former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford, who is gay, finished out of the running in Tuesday's Massachusetts primary as he sought to become the Democratic nominee for Congress in the state's Third District.
And homophobic minister Scott Lively failed to win the Republican nomination for Massachusetts governor, although he received a surprising 36 percent of the vote in the primary, which is being credited to his support of Donald Trump.
Gifford, who told The Advocate he got into the U.S. House race as a way to fight Trump, received about 15 percent of the vote, finishing fifth among 10 candidates, The New York Times reports. Lori Trahan, who had been chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan, and Daniel Koh, who was chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, were neck-and-neck for first place, with about 22 percent each, Trahan led Koh by less than a hundred votes, making a recount likely. The winner will face Rick Green, the only Republican in the race, in November. The incumbent, Democrat Niki Tsongas, is retiring.
Gifford became a celebrity in Denmark during his four years as President Barack Obama's ambassador, as he was the subject of a reality TV series in the nation. He also married his partner, Dr. Stephen DeVincent, while in Denmark.
He said he was saddened by the loss, but he pledged to remain active in politics.
In the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, the virulently homophobic Lively challenged incumbent Charlie Baker, an LGBTQ-friendly moderate. While Baker prevailed with 64 percent of the vote, Lively's 36 percent gave him a much stronger showing than in a previous run. In 2014, he ran for governor as an independent and received just 1 percent of the vote in the general election.
Lively, who has claimed that Germany's Nazi Party was dominated by gay men and was sued for international human rights violations for spreading his hate to Uganda, appealed to Trump loyalists, the Boston Herald reports. Lively "touted his support of President Trump and cast Baker as a de facto Democrat," according to the paper. Baker will face Democrat Jay Gonzalez in November.
The Massachusetts primary also saw a stunning upset victory in the by African-American progressive Ayanna Pressley over longtime Seventh District Congressman Michael Capuano. Pressley, currently a member of the Boston City Council, bested Capuano in the Democratic primary by 59 percent to 41 percent. There is no Republican running, so she is assured of election in November.
"Pressley did not argue that Capuano was too moderate," CNN reports. "In fact, she said, the two would vote the same way. Instead, the 44-year-old Pressley -- already a rising star in Democratic politics -- cast the race as about Democrats' need for a new, more assertive style in the Donald Trump era."
"This is a fight for the soul of our party. This is a fight for the future of our democracy," Pressley said at a recent campaign event, according to CNN. "We might vote the same way, but we will lead differently. These times require and this district deserves bold, activist leadership."