Candidates we can count on

Candidates we can count on

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On the front page of this week’s issue is our slate of endorsed candidates for the April 26 Pennsylvania primary election. Our editorial team makes these endorsements after careful consideration of each candidate’s LGBT record and, in some races, their responses to our interview questions. With so many candidates with robustly pro-LGBT platforms, we had some tough decisions to make.

For president, we endorsed Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders are with us on the issues. Some have criticized Clinton for not having always supported marriage equality, but we see that as a red herring; Clinton’s LGBT record outpaces Sanders’ by a mile. She has provided steadfast leadership, taking LGBT issues to a worldwide stage as Secretary of State, paving the way for both LGBT visibility and understanding around the globe. We are confident she will continue to lead on LGBT issues in the White House. 

For U.S. Senate, we endorsed Katie McGinty. We have an embarrassment of riches in this race. John Fetterman made history as the first Pennsylvania mayor to officiate same-sex marriages, even before the state sanctioned such unions; but that’s largely his LGBT record. Joe Sestak was a key figure in the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers and has long championed our issues. McGinty, however, has delineated the most powerful plan to move our community forward. She is supported by LGBT political organizations and the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee. We add our voice as well and are eager to see more women represented in the U.S. Senate.

For Congress, Dwight Evans was an easy choice for the Second District. He has fought for LGBT equality for more than three decades. We strongly and proudly endorse him for Congress. Also joining Evans on our endorsed Congressional candidates are Mary Ellen Balchunis (Seventh Dist.) and Steve Santarsiero (Eighth Dist.), who have both pledged to make LGBT inclusion cornerstones of their offices. 

For Pennsylvania Attorney General, we endorse Josh Shapiro, who has been with our community since he entered public service. Another longtime supporter earning our endorsement is Treasurer candidate Joe Torsella.

In the state House of Representatives, Michael O’Brien (175th Dist.) not only talks the talk, he walks the walk: He has brought more state funding for LGBT issues than the entire state House combined. We support O’Brien with our whole heart.

We also endorse state Rep. Brian Sims. Sims’ challenger, Ben Waxman, picked up the endorsement of the Gayborhood’s Fifth Ward, as well as the Eighth Ward, which illustrates a disconnect that Sims needs to address through tangible action if he is re-elected. We’re also backing incumbents Pamela Delissio, Donna Bullock and Mark Cohen, who have demonstrated support and leadership on LGBT issues. We’re backing Movita Johnson-Harrell and Christopher Rabb as newcomers to the legislature because of their demonstrated plans for advancing LGBT equality. 

No matter which candidates you’re backing, make sure your vote counts April 26. 

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