District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Councilman Carl DeMaio are openly gay Republican candidates in the run to become Mayor of San Diego.
The Associated Press reports:
Two leading Republican contenders for mayor of America’s eighth-largest city are openly gay, and voters have barely noticed. It doesn’t come up at campaign appearances or in local news coverage.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and City Councilman Carl DeMaio haven’t made their marks as gay rights activists, which may help explain why their sexual orientation has been a non-issue even among social conservatives. Neither makes a secret of being gay, but they don’t draw attention to it, either.
San Diego, which has had Republican mayors since 1992, could easily become the nation’s largest city to ever choose an openly gay GOP leader, said Donald Haider-Markel, a Kansas University political science professor who published a book last year on gays in public office. Gay Republicans have historically been hindered by lack of support from party leaders and financial backers.
Mayor Jerry Sanders, a former police chief being forced out by term limits, faced a mutiny in his party in 2007 when he abruptly announced that he believed gays should have rights to marry, saying his lesbian daughter and members of his staff deserved no less. He captured national attention when he fought tears at a news conference to explain his change of heart to support same-sex marriage on the eve of his re-election bid.
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