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The nonpartisan Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) of Washington, D.C., on March 12 released revised ratings for three candidates running in the April 1 Democratic primary after the candidates provided additional information about their advocacy or work on behalf of LGBT rights.
GLAA members considered the additional information at its March 11 meeting and adjusted all three candidates’ ratings upward by a point. GLAA’s rating scale ranges from -10 to 10, but the organization does not make endorsements in partisan races.
Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), running for mayor, saw his rating elevated from 8 to 9 after his campaign provided documentation showing that he drafted and moved legislative language through the Committee on Finance and Revenue, which he chairs, that deals with recognizing same-sex married couples as eligible for estate-tax benefits. Because of his work on the legislation, known as the Marriage Equality Estate Tax Clarification Act, GLAA awarded Evans an additional point for ”championship,” given to candidates who have demonstrated recent leadership on an LGBT issue.
With his revised rating, Evans still ranks third among all mayoral contenders, but moves closer to incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray (D), who received a 10, and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who received a 9.5.
Calvin Gurley, running for D.C. Council Chairman against incumbent Phil Mendelson (D), submitted a late questionnaire response, according to a press release from GLAA. GLAA also criticized Gurley for answers to its candidate questionnaire that ”are uninformed, argumentative, and lack substance.” But GLAA did revise Gurley’s rating upward for agreeing with the organization on some issues, as well as supporting marriage equality. Gurley’s rating was upgraded from zero to 1.
Ward 6 candidate Darrel Thompson was originally rated solely on his questionnaire, which GLAA described as ”weak.” After submitting more information, he was awarded a point based on his work as a senior staffer for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on a series of legislative initiatives aimed at advancing LGBT rights. GLAA revised Thompson’s rating from 2 to 3.