Share

POLITICS: PennAve

GOP will keep supporting gay candidates despite congressman's complaints

By |
John Boehner,2014 Elections,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Gay rights

One congressman's beef with the National Republican Congressional Committee over its support for gay candidates will likely have little effect on the committee's operations or fundraising.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., has tried to persuade other lawmakers and the committee not to support the campaigns of gay candidates, Politico first reported.

“GOP leaders can do whatever they want to do,” Forbes told Politico. “There would be a different situation if they tried to force other members to give money."

Forbes' dissatisfaction with the NRCC over its support for gay candidates is not altogether shocking: He supports the Defense of Marriage Act and has co-sponsored a proposal for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

His complaints are also exceptionally uncommon, and unlikely to have a marked effect on either the committee's fundraising or how it decides to dole out its cash.

"Typically, most, if not all, members of the House Republican Conference were focused on one thing — winning the majority," said one former NRCC senior aide. "That requires diversity in the candidate recruitment class whether it that has to do with positions on issues from the Second Amendment to abortion rights or a candidate's ethnicity or sexual orientation."

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden echoed that sentiment. "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.”

There are two openly gay Republican candidates vying for Democratic-held congressional seats in 2014: Carl DeMaio, in California, and Richard Tisei, in Massachusetts. The NRCC supported Tisei when he ran and lost in 2012.

As for Republican donors weighing whether to give to the NRCC, it's unlikely the issue of gay rights will move much money in either direction in the way other hot-button social issues, like abortion, do.

"Most of the people who are really wealthy, they don’t care about gay marriage, for or against it," said one Republican fundraiser. "The NRCC is not going to lose any donors because they give to gay candidates."

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner