LGBT Group to Back Two Gay Republicans for Congress

Image: LGBT Group to Back Two Gay Republicans for Congress Richard Tisei, left, and Dan Innis

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 09:13 AM

By Melanie Batley

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An LGBT political group is endorsing two men seeking to become the first openly gay Republicans elected to Congress.

According to The Washington Post, The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund is announcing its support Tuesday of former Massachusetts state Sen. Richard Tisei and former University of New Hampshire dean Dan Innis.

"Both Dan Innis and Richard Tisei have demonstrated outstanding leadership and are viewed as visionary leaders that are voices for their constituencies," Torey Carter, chief operating officer at the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, told the Post. "Their elections would shatter a glass ceiling for the Republican Party and further the dialogue within the GOP about LGBT issues."

Both candidates are in top targeted races, and if they win would be the first openly gay Republicans elected to Congress. Tisei is challenging Massachusetts Democratic Rep. John Tierney, while Innis is trying to unseat New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.
Former Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe was the first openly gay Republican in Congress, but came out after he was elected.

A third openly gay Republican running in a high-profile race, former San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, will not get the group's endorsement, though possibly has the best chance of capturing a congressional seat among the three, the Post reports.

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which provides support for candidates but not funding, has previously supported six LGBT candidates for Congress, five of which were Democratic incumbents.

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