The executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, Dana Beyer, announced her intention to run for a seat in a Senate on Thursday, January 30, which will put her up against openly gay Senator Richard Madaleno Jr.
Beyer has unsuccessfully run for the House of Delegates twice before.
In Beyer’s declaration for candidacy, posted on her blog for the Huffington Post, she wrote:
“I am a retired surgeon, a mother of two and a progressive activist. I’ve spent my entire life fighting for social justice and equal opportunity in our community and around the globe. I’m proud of my track record of success on progressive issues, and now I’m seeking the opportunity to serve you in public office.”
According to Pink News, Senator Madaleno seemed unthreatened by the challenge, saying, “I’m proud of my rather lengthy list of accomplishments…I think the last four years in particular have been the most progressive in Maryland history.”
Madaleno has been a political advocate for LGBT issues for years, dating back to his time in the House of Delegates before being elected to the Senate.
Madaleno also introduced a bill two weeks ago that would ban discrimination based on gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodation statewide across Maryland.
The executive director of Equality Maryland, Carrie Evans, is questioning the timing of Beyer’s announcement; she said, “We need to all be focused on getting this bill passed.”
Equality Maryland plans to continue endorsing Madaleno throughout his re-election campaign; Evans said, “He has been a champion of our community for decades and we will stick by him and ensure that we do what we need to do to get him re-elected.”
Currently, there are no Republican candidates in the race.