Is Capitol Hill About To Meet Its First Gay Republican?
Shhhh! Don’t tell the Palins! An openly gay man from Massachusetts is eyeballing a House seat this fall, but the real kicker is that he’s running on the Republican ticket.
Richard Tisei of Massachusetts is looking to become Congress’s first openly gay Republican member after the election in November. Seems pretty radical, but Tisei actually thinks he has a decent shot at the big leagues, and that his sexual identification will be an advantage to him in his left-leaning district, reports Newser. Despite identifying with the right on most issues, his stances on same-sex marriage and pro-choice abortion rights make him an appealing moderate, as his right-leaning nature more pulls him toward conservative economics. Indeed, though running as a Republican, he might be viewed as more Libertarian.
“Overall, I consider myself a ‘live and let live Republican’ — the government should get out of your bedroom, off your back and out of your wallet,” he told The Hill. “That’s a pretty traditional Northeastern Republican philosophy. We’ve always had a pretty strong libertarian flavor in our politics up here.”
Though you’d think that a candidate like Tisei would represent a threat to the right, but top Republican leadership is actually pulling for him, with big names like John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan having already donated almost $50,000 towards his campaign.
Tisei actually has a chance too, though it can’t be said with any certainty which way his district will lean in the upcoming election. Though they strongly backed Barack Obama back in 2008, they backed controversial Wisconsin governor Scott Walker in a 2010 poll. To make matters better for Tisei, his opponent is involved in a terse personal scandal right now. John Tierney is in deep over allegations that his family has ties to illegal gambling rings, reports the Boston Globe.
What do you think? Does Richard Tisei have a chance? Would you vote for an openly gay Republican?