LGBT Dems should consider voting for Hutchison

When it was clear that Sen. John McCain would be the GOP nominee for president in 2008, many mainstream Republicans used that certainty to vote in the Democrat primary to help Sen. Hillary Clinton in her bid for the Democrat Party’s nomination.

We did so because Republicans often felt that Hillary represented the least objectionable Democratic candidate. Some felt Clinton would have been easier to beat, and that may have been a reason as well. Nonetheless, Republicans attempted to influence the nomination.

In this year’s gubernatorial primary, the clarity falls more on the Democrat side. It’s clear that Bill White will be the Democratic nominee for governor of Texas. So, with it, I would expect LGBT and mainstream Democrats might use the opportunity Republicans had two years ago.

As it stands now, among Republican voters, Gov. Rick Perry is very close to securing the nomination without a runoff. However, I believe Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison represents the LGBT Democratic community’s least objectionable Republican candidate. She is presently trailing Perry by 15 points, and a third candidate, Debra Medina, is polling closely to Hutchison. A surge of Democratic support for Hutchison could change the dynamic of the race.

At the polling places, voters are asked whether they request a Democratic or Republican ballot. I believe that the Republican nominee will prevail in the general election. Voters should consider all of these unique circumstances in their decision-making process.

Rob Schlein, president,
Log Cabin Republicans Dallas

Taking exception to some Stonewall Democrat endorsements

I am always happy to see Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ endorsements in Dallas Voice. Normally, I take that page out of the paper to take with me to my polling location, and use it for all my votes.

However, this year I take exception to two of the recommendations.

First is Bill White for governor. Mr. White is a decent man, and should he win the Democratic nomination, I will be happy to vote for him against the anti-gay candidates offered by the Republicans.

However, Farouk Shami has expressed his support for gay marriage, and Mr. White only supports civil unions. I feel the GLBT community should support the candidate who has the courage to support us fully. This is especially true in the primary contest.

Second is Larry Duncan for county judge. I don’t know much about Mr. Duncan, but I do know that Jim Foster is a gay man who has been on the right side of AIDS issues. Additionally, in 2006 when no one in the political establishment even had the courage to run for this office, he showed up.

This is enough for me to give him my vote.

I think we have all learned in the past year that giving our vote to candidates whose support for us is lukewarm doesn’t work out so great. I am somewhat envious of the energy of the Tea Party movement.

I hope we in the GLBT community can get some of that excitement back into our civil rights movement — just without the rudeness!

All progress in civil rights starts with the individual, and it starts locally. That is why I think it is important for all of us to not only review endorsements by GLBT organizations, but research the candidates, and vote for those whose interests reflect our own.

Michael Cowan

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 19, 2010.

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