Republican Carl DeMaio, an openly gay man, is running for California’s 52nd district in San Diego. On Monday, his campaign released a video briefly depicting DeMaio holding hands with his gay partner followed by a clip of DeMaio waving a rainbow flag.
“This is who I am,” DeMaio told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. “It’s something that’s important to me. I want to embrace equality, and feel like the party should, too.”
DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republican congressional candidates. The others are Dan Innis of New Hampshire and Richard Tisei of Massachusetts.
According to the Wall Street Journal, De Maio is highlighting his homosexuality in the ad in an effort to get that issue out of the way and focus on other concerns, such as the debt and tax code.
California’s 52nd district is the only congressional district in California marked as a “pure toss-up,” according to the Rothenberg Political Report, and Democratic incumbent Scott Peters remains very vulnerable. A Survey USA poll of registered voters conducted in June — only a week and a half after DeMaio declared his candidacy — found DeMaio ahead of Peters (48 percent to 39 percent) with a margin of error of 4.5 points.
In addition to his stance in favor of gay marriage, DeMaio supports abortion rights. However, he champions more traditional conservative positions such as supporting gun rights, balancing the budget, and reforming entitlements.