Rodney Glassman, the front-runner for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in Arizona, has been accused of homophobia over comments he made about a lesbian former colleague on the Tucson city council.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, John Dougherty, also a Democratic candidate, charged that his rival Glassman once disparaged Tucson councilwoman Karin Uhlich by saying that he did not want to sit next to an openly gay person. Glassman has denied the charge, based on an report in a political blog.
"I respect Karin Uhlich and was proud to sit next to her," said Glassman in a written response to the Star. "Obviously, if I had said anything disparaging about her, she would not have promised to support my campaign in the fall."
The Star reports, "But Uhlich said the political blog from which Dougherty got the information was accurate in recounting that Glassman said at a gathering he didn't want to sit next to an openly gay person. She said Glassman didn't deny making the comment when she talked to him about it."
According to the Star, Uhlich is supporting all four Democrats in the U.S. Senate primary. They are vying for the chance to challenge the Republican candidate, likely to be incumbent U.S. senator John McCain.