Log Cabin Republicans Endorse Controversial Carl DeMaio for Congress
The Log Cabin Republicans announced in a press release that its Board of Directors has endorsed Carl DeMaio for Congress.
"DeMaio, a gay Republican and former San Diego City Councilman, is running to be the next Congressman in California's 52nd Congressional District," the statement reads.
"The people of California need a reform-minded, new generation Republican to represent them in Congress," said Log Cabin Republicans National Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo, "and I can think of no one who fits that bill better than Carl: a successful businessman, a proven leader, and a fine example of a strong gay conservative. This is a seat we can win, and we're going to win it with Carl."
On May 30, DeMaio formally announced his run for Congress in 2014, with the primaries taking place early in the year and the general election happening in November. He will challenge incumbent, Democratic Congressman Scott Peters, who just defeated Republican Brian Bilbray, taking his seat this January. Peters is the first Democrat elected in the traditionally conservative 52nd Congressional District since its creation in 1993.
"Last year Peters and his union cronies tried to make the LGBT Community believe that Carl did not support marriage equality," Susan Jeste, head of the Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego County told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. "Why? To win re-election, to keep the power so they can continue to line their pockets with your tax dollars."
In 2012, DeMaio ran for San Diego mayor, but lost by just five points.
"Still, he spent over $3 million in that race, and won portions of the city in the 52nd District," says Jessica Taylor of MSNBC News. "Early polling for the [National Republican Congressional Committee] has shown DeMaio up over Peters, and this is a top race to watch in the state where Republicans struggled in 2012."
If DeMaio wins, San Diego would be the largest city to elect an out Republican. The politician, however, was not popular among LGBT voters during the mayoral election reported the New York Times.
"Angered by his reticence on gay issues and his acceptance of campaign donations from backers of Proposition 8, California's 2008 ban on same-sex marriage, parts of the crowd booed Mr. DeMaio at a mayoral debate... He was booed again as he walked hand in hand with his partner in [the 2012] gay pride parade," the news paper writes.
Despite the criticisms, DeMaio stands his ground.
"My candidacy and my eventual voice in Congress will offer an example of how the 'New Generation Republican' is focused on issues that unite, rather than issues that divide," DeMaio said in the Log Cabin press release. "With the support of our broad-based coalition that now includes Log Cabin Republicans, I want to drive the debate on pocket-book, economic and quality of life issues - and urge politicians to stay out of issues that are frankly none of the government's business in the first place."