An openly gay car salesman has joined the crowded California gubernatorial race, which includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gary Coleman, and Larry Flynt. Jim Vandeventer Jr., a Republican and former Beverly Hills BMW salesman, paid the $3,500 fee to be on the ballot. The California secretary of state notified him that his candidacy was verified, Vandeventer said Monday.
The 40-year-old Miami, Okla., native believes Gov. Gray Davis should be allowed to finish his second term. "Frankly, I think Davis has the personality of a cantaloupe, but things are turning around here. That's what no one wants to say," said Vandeventer, who considers himself 90% Democrat and 10% Republican, despite his registration. He accused the Bush administration of "hijacking the state" by backing movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger's run for the office.
Vandeventer considers himself to be a pro-choice, relatively pro-gun environmentalist who supports same-sex unions and bringing back family values and ethics to society. He said his issues for the campaign include fiscal responsibility, protecting the environment, and legal unions for gays. "Let marriage be a sanctity for heterosexuals. The gay community has to come up with another vocabulary word," said Vandeventer, who has been in a committed relationship for nearly eight years.