Carl DeMaio, an openly gay California House candidate, says he’d rather be known as the GOP problem solver than for his orientation. The former San Diego City Councilman is one of two openly gay Republicans in the congressional race.
“I don’t think the biggest unique thing about my candidacy is that I’m the gay guy. I don’t think that’s true,” said DeMaio. “I think the uniqueness in my candidacy is I get things done.”
While DeMaio would prefer to be recognized for his efforts in avoid city bankruptcy, he is still a vocal supporter for gay rights and has complained about his party’s obsession with social issues like gay marriage and abortion.
“People want a new-generation Republican,” he said. “They are sick and tired of the Republican Party getting sidetracked on divisive social issues. They want to see a Republican Party that is able to articulate on a set of solutions on the issues that matter most to the American people.”
“If you want to clean up the mess in Washington, you have to start first by cleaning up the mess in the Republican Party,” added DeMaio.
DeMaio has received support from many Republican politicians, including a backing from Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. However, recently DeMaio spoke out against Boehner, condemning him for using taxpayers’ money to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“It was a complete waste of federal dollars, a complete waste of time, the fact that they used federal dollars to fund lawyers to drag that issue out,” said DeMaio. “And the Supreme Court was pretty clear that under the Constitution, people should be entitled to equal protection under the law.”
While DeMaio wishes to keep his orientation out of the race, Senior House Republican Randy Forbes of Virginia has been urging Republicans to deny support for any gay congressional candidate. According to Politico, Forbes has “waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn’t back some gay candidates.”
In a statement, DeMaio said, “Unlike Mr. Forbes, San Diegans are not focused on sexual orientation. To the contrary, I’m winning this district because San Diegans are looking for fresh leadership in Washington to reform wasteful government spending, revitalize the economy, and hold government programs accountable.”