According to The Hill, gay Republican candidate Carl DeMaio is getting big-time support from Speaker John Boehner. Despite opposition from some conservative groups, Boehener is visiting California this week to raise cash for DeMaio, who joins Massachusetts’s Richard Tisei as one of two openly gay GOP candidates.
DeMaio blasted GOP groups opposing his candidacy, saying, “I’m disappointed but not terribly surprised that some extreme far right groups would rather lose elections than win elections, and have been very destructive for so many years within the Republican Party. I’m glad so many people are finally realizing that and standing up to that, saying we may not agree on all issues but we agree on the vast majority of issues.”
Without mentioning Boehner, he added, “We welcome all support from wherever it comes from… We’re all coming together in a broad-based campaign not only to win a seat but send a national message that the Republican Party can be more inclusive and positive.”
Last week, the Research Council and National Organization for Marriage wrote Boehner, National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.), and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to urge them to forgo supporting DeMaio, Tisei, and Senate candidate Monica Wehby (Ore.), who supports gay marriage. The letter stated:
“Carl DeMaio, Richard Tisei and Monica Wehby are antithetical to the Republican platform. Mr. DeMaio supports and aggressively advocates for the redefinition of marriage, and welcomed the judicial activism of the federal courts which stripped the people of California of their votes in support of maintaining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
At the end of 2013, Boehner blew off those who did not want the GOP to support gay candidates, asserting that the GOP needed a bigger tent. Boehner has helped raise the maximum $14,000 for both DeMaio and Tisei. The NRCC has donated $2.3 million to help DeMaio and $1 million for Tisei. NRCC spokesman Ian Prior said, “Our decisions on the Republican nominees we support will not be based on race, gender or sexual orientation, but will be based on the strength of their candidacy and their ability to defeat Democrats.”
Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Boehner, stated, “Carl DeMaio is a reformer and a champion of fiscal responsibility. He’ll be a strong voice for efficient and accountable government in our House majority.”
Boehner will have plenty to do on his California tour, including:
- A $1,000-per-plate luncheon for former congressman Doug Ose (7th district)
- One fundraiser for state assemblyman Jeff Gorrell (Ventura County), and another for Brian Nestande (Riverside County)
- A fundraiser for DeMaio on Saturday.
Tisei spokesman Charlie Szold stated his happiness with the support from the GOP, saying:
“It’s extremely encouraging to see someone like Richard have the opportunity to present his Republican vision for the country, and that there is a place in the party for people who are pro-marriage equality. It’s encouraging that he’s able to be a change agent within the Republican Party, and hopefully within Washington.”