Dallas chapter official touts list of 15 endorsed Republican candidates as “‘breakthrough’
The 23-year-old Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas chapter has released a long slate of endorsements for the first time, according to an official of the gay political group.
Brian Welker, treasurer of the group, said individual candidates in local races had been endorsed before, but the list of 15 Republican candidates this year who wanted an endorsement from the group represents a “breakthrough.”
“There has always been quite a significant number of gay-friendly Republicans, but it has taken a long time to get them comfortable with the idea of Log Cabin and to get them over the propaganda of the far right,” Welker said. “They now trust that we’re not trying to take advantage of the situation, and that we’re not radicals.”
The endorsements have been in the works for about six months, Welker said. A list of candidates to contact was drawn up, Welker said. A questionnaire was developed that focused on issues of fairness in hiring and employment practices and treating people who appear in courts and offices equally.
Discussions were held with the candidates and those who said yes to all of the questions made the list, Welker said. The list was then circulated through the chapter’s membership for final approval.
Welker said the endorsement process was a combination of “formal and informal” interactions.
“We feel pretty comfortable with all of these people,” Welker said.
Welker said almost all of the candidates on the list have appeared at Log Cabin Republicans functions.
He noted that Cynthia Calhoun attended the group’s black tie dinner last year as a friend and supporter of Log Cabin Republicans.
“She was there as a friend,” Welker said. “She wasn’t trying to get a campaign donation or a vote,” Welker said.
Welker said all of the candidates had a history of being friendly to Log Cabin Republicans members.
“All of the candidates have been friendly in our dealings with them,” Welker said. “We think it is very important for the gay community to be involved in all parties.”
Welker said Log Cabin Republicans have been criticized in the past for supporting a party whose candidates seemed uninterested in the gay political group’s support. “Here are some Republicans we can support,” Welker said.
The endorsed candidates and the offices they are seeking are Cynthia Calhoun, Dallas County Clerk; Lisa Hembry, Dallas County Treasurer; John Peyton, Dallas County Court at Law 2; Bruce Woody, Dallas County Court at Law 4; Lisa Fox, Dallas County Court at Law 10; Manny Alvarez, Criminal Court 5; Jennifer Balido, Criminal Court 6; Livia Liu, Criminal Court 7; David Kelton, 44th District Court; Nancy Johnson, 160th District Court; Mary Miller, 194th District Court; Mark Nancarrow, 204th District Court; Craig Fowler, 255th District Court; Karen Greene, 282nd District Court and Becky Gregory, 283rd District Court.
Welker said the gay political group had contributed $10,000 to the endorsed candidates for their campaigns.
The announcement of the endorsements was made at Trammell S. Crow’s home. “The LCRD has worked diligently to identify these fair-minded, qualified and dedicated individuals,” Crow said. “As a longtime supporter of LCRD, I am confident that votes cast for these candidates will confirm and continue our community’s heritage of strong leadership for the benefit of all.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 27, 2006.