COMMENTARY | Neither politicians who campaign with their admiring spouses or, the times being what they are, openly gay politicians running for public office are uncommon. But Carl DeMaio, a Republican, has combined the two by campaigning with his male partner.
DeMaio is challenging Democrat incumbent Scott Peters for a congressional seat in the San Diego, California area. He is a former city councilman who had challenged the now disgraced Bob Fliner for mayor of that city.
Aside from the novelty of a gay man presenting his partner in campaign advertising, something likely to be emulated from now on, DeMaio is running a centrist Republican, fiscal conservative, socially libertarian campaign tailored to appeal to Southern California voters. He is for a balanced budget, cutting taxes and regulations, funding education, research, and infrastructure, reforming Obamacare, school choice, reforming entitlements, funding alternative energy, congressional reform, marriage equality, medical marijuana, and background checks for gun purchases.
DeMaio is not the sort of Republican candidate who would prosper in a red state, more for some of his more libertarian views than for his sexual preference (though the latter would be a problem in some social conservative districts.) However he is, at least in the opinion of a lot of political analysts, a good fit to be part of a Republican resurgence in California if such a thing were to ever happen.
A Republican resurgence in California is something that certainly needs to happen. The state has been a one party, blue state for nearly a decade (Schwarzenegger’s governorship notwithstanding.) This has caused all sorts of madcap policies to be unchallenged, from the not so high speed train project that would cost as much as a moon shot, to crazy environmental initiatives that have suppressed that state’s economic vitality. With no opposition party to speak of, these sorts of disasters are proceeding unchallenged.
If nothing else, the sight of an openly gay Republican running for and hopefully winning public office will be enough to cause certain heads to explode, which would be entertaining to watch.