Three candidates support LGBT rights, but the positions of the other two candidates on community issues are ambiguous
Three of the five candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to run for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. John Cornyn support LGBT equality. Whether a fourth does is uncertain, and the fifth is running on a platform of impeaching President Obama.
Kesha Rogers touts herself as a Larouche Democrat, a movement known for trying to quarantine HIV-positive people in the 1980s. The focus of Rogers’ campaign is impeaching the president. She won the Democratic Primary for U.S. House District 22 in 2010 and 2012, but the Texas Democratic Party refused to recognize her, and she received no state party funding or assistance, losing both elections.
David Alameel, who Sen. Wendy Davis endorsed, is the best funded of the five.
Alameel came in fourth in the 2012 District 33 U.S. House race that put Marc Veasey into office. On his website Alameel makes no mention of LGBT issues. In an email to supporters on Jan. 21, he sent a list of his priorities, among them, was “Fighting for marriage equality.” That priority, however, isn’t on his website. A campaign volunteer said the omission was an oversight, and he would have the campaign communications chair contact Dallas Voice. He didn’t.
In 2012, Alameel was one of the few candidates not to return a questionnaire sent to candidates in that race by Dallas Voice. He also did not participate in the debate between candidates held by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.
Over the years, Alameel has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans, including Sen. John Cornyn, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and others, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.
The remaining three candidates — Michael Fjetland, Maxey Marie Scherr and Harry Kim — support LGBT equality.
Fjetland was the only one of the candidates to screen with Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, although Harry Kim met with members after the screening. The organization did not endorse the race.
Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, Austin, Denton County and Southeast Texas endorsed Scherr.
Fjetland is an international attorney, founder and CEO of Armor Glass International Inc. and author of the book Better Times Ahead April Fool. In a previous race, he ran as a Republican, challenging former House Majority Leader Tom Delay for his seat.
“Marriage equality should be a given,” he said at the Stonewall Dallas endorsement meeting.
On his website, he wrote, “The LGBT community should have equal rights and opportunities and not be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. They should be able to work in the jobs they are qualified to perform. They should be able to marry the person they love.”
Harry Kim is a physician from Midland.
“Regardless of one’s Race, Background, Gender or Orientation, everyone deserves a fair chance,” Kim wrote on his website. “That is how we become even a greater country.”
Maxey Scherr describes herself as a single mom and a lawyer from El Paso.
She described herself as a lifelong Democrat and stands by her progressive values and believes marriage equality is coming to Texas sooner rather than later.
“When it comes to issues related to human rights — such as the rights of immigrants, children, women and the LGBT community — Cruz and Cornyn support absolute government control, not individual rights,” she wrote on her website. “Maxey fully supports marriage equality and will support legislation to protect gays and lesbians in the workplace.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 14, 2014.