Group endorses two other gay Republican congressional candidates

By Mark Walker FEB. 25, 2014

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has endorsed two gay GOP candidates, but 52nd Congressional District candidate Carl DeMaio isn’t one of them.

DeMaio this month became the first congressional candidate from either major party to include a same-sex partner in campaign advertising. He is trying to unseat first-term Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.

DeMaio spokesman Dave McCulloch said the group’s decision not to endorse the former San Diego City Councilman wasn’t a shock.

“This liberal group did not endorse Carl in 2012 and we’re not surprised they’re not endorsing him in what national observers call the most likely seat to switch parties in the country,” McCulloch said. “When it matters, this group is about a liberal agenda.”

Victory Fund spokesman Steven Thai declined to comment on why DeMaio, who has been criticized by some for not being more vocal about LGBT issues, was passed over.

“It is our policy not to comment on races where we haven’t endorsed,” Thai said from the group’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Its endorsement criteria includes being openly gay, demonstrating support for federal, state or local efforts to advance LGBT rights and support for access to abortion.

Getting the group’s backing was Massachusetts state senator Richard Tisei and New Hampshire congressional candidate Dan Innis.

Tisei is running against Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass, and Innis is challenging Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.

The Victory Fund lauded Innis and Tisei for demonstrating “outstanding leadership” and called them each “visionary leaders.”

DeMaio is running for Congress as a “new generation” Republican, saying he wants the GOP to stay out of divisive social issues.

He has said his ad that includes a picture of him with his partner is no different than any other candidate being filmed or photographed with their spouses, families or significant others.

Also challenging Peters are Republicans Fred Simon and Kirk Jorgensen.

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund helps the candidates it endorses by sharing donor lists, access to funds through its political action committee and with other general support.

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