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same sex marriage, handily won his race to replace longtime ally Gov. Jerry Brown as California’s next governor. Equality California-endorsed candidate Eleni Kounalakis won a spirited race to become the next lieutenant governor. Less clear, is whether gay California Sen. Ricardo Lara won his race against Republican-turned-independent Steve Poizner for Insurance Commissioner. Poizner was a high hope for Republicans who don’t much like Trump but like oldfashioned Republican policies, which Poizner espoused through coded campaign commercials. Lara seemed to rely less on earned media than on other means to reach voters, especially reaching out to the undermedia-served Latino community. While Poizner used to be Insurance Commissioner, he has not be visible for years. Lara, in the meantime, has not only been visible as a State Senator, but has taken on issues such as protecting undocumented immigrants, including LGBT people seeking asylum, and opposing efforts to bring back so-called “conversion therapy. Lara told the Los Angeles Blade that he would, in fact, look at such efforts as “consumer fraud” under his jurisdiction, if elected Insurance Commissioner. If his election is certified, Lara will make history as California’s first openly LGBT statewide official. As of Wednesday morning, he was leading by more than 105,000 votes. “With millions of ballots left to be counted across the state, it is already clear that Californians sent a clear message to Washington, rejecting the politics of fear and division, and electing leaders who will work to unite us and fight for full equality,” Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur said. “The LGBTQ community has much to celebrate this 9Wednesday/Nov. 70) morning — with openly LGBTQ and proequality candidates making history across the country last night, a new pro-equality majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and a historic number of women elected to the House, too. We congratulate and look forward to working with Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor-elect Eleni Kounalakis and pro-equality leaders in the Legislature and new Congress to continue making progress toward a world

HRC President Chad Griffin with Harley Rouda volunteers Photo courtesy HRCu

that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ people.” Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, took these midterms seriously, campaigning as if this was a presidential election. The organization ran a $650,000 voter engagement and get-out-the vote program that included a direct mail campaign reaching approximately 740,000 voters — including targeted mail supporting Lara and Assemblymember Tony Thurmond’s campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction. He appears to be losing to an even better-funded campaign by charter schools enthusiast, Marshall Tucker. Equality California also vigorously supported eight pro-equality candidates for the California Legislature and pushed out robo-calls to approximately 520,000 voters supporting Lara, nine pro-equality Congressional candidates, 14 pro-equality state legislative candidates and 12 openly LGBT local candidates. Right now, HRC and Equality Californiasupported candidates Harley Rouda (CA48) and Mike Levin (CA-49) lead their antiLGBT opponents by slim margins, with the races still too close to call. The other proequality Congressional candidates the LGBT worked hard to elect—Josh Harder (CA-10),

Gil Cisneros (CA-39) and Katie Porter (CA45)—are currently trailing their anti-LGBT opponents but the numbers can easily change as the thousands of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots are counted in each race in the next week or two. Equality California says that they partnered with NextGen America and the California Labor Federation to target the Hill, Cisneros, Porter and Rouda campaigns in what have been considered new swing districts. They knocked on 7,200 doors and contacted more than 123,000 voters through live phone calls and peer-to-peer text messaging, EQCA says in a press release. “Other priority races for Equality California included the contest to become California’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction and the effort to reelect Legislative LGBT Caucus Member Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes,” EQCA says. “Equality California-endorsed candidate Assemblymember Tony Thurmond currently trails Marshall Tuck by a slim margin in the Superintendent’s race, while Cervantes leads her challenger Bill Essayli by three votes. Equality California also strongly supported openly LGBTQ legislative candidates Joy Silver (SD-28), Jovanka Beckles (AD-15) and Sunday Gover (AD-77), who ran strong races and are

currently trailing their opponents in races too close to call.” One heartbreaking loss is that of Ammar Campa-Najjar to indicted Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. in Orange County’s 50th District. While the race seemed like a long shot from the beginning, there were moments when he broke through and actually ran neck-and-neck, ahead or within the margin of error. History may look back and question whether Trump’s angry, fearful and inaccurate closing argument at campaign rallies about the supposed caravan of diseased and crime-filled immigrants (mostly women and children) who want to “invade” the southern border might have had an impact, as well as Hunter’s disgusting racist and unethical campaign ads implying Campa-Najjar, a devout Christian, was a foreign terrorist. As of Nov. 7, Hunter has 54.33% of the vote to Campa-Najjar’s 45.67%. “The days of attacking LGBTQ people for political gain are over, and the American people will not stand for lawmakers who try to drum up votes by trafficking in hate,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Thanks to millions of Americans who stood up and fought back, we have succeeded in restoring a sane, pro-equality majority to the House and placing a check on this administration’s hateful agenda.”

Profile for Los Angeles Blade

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 36, November 9, 2018  

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 36, November 9, 2018

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 36, November 9, 2018  

Losangelesblade.com, Volume 2, Issue 36, November 9, 2018

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