State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax counties) earned the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Tuesday in his bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.).
Ebbin, who became the first openly gay member of the Virginia General Assembly in 2004, announced his candidacy last month, citing his progressive stances on various political issues, his steadfast support for equal rights, and his record of working with lawmakers of the opposite party to get things accomplished.
''Adam Ebbin has distinguished himself as an outspoken voice of progressive values,'' Torey Carter, the chief operating officer at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said in a statement. ''After ten years in the state legislature, he has remained committed to his goal of increasing equality and opportunity for those that are often left behind.''
The Victory Fund's endorsement of Ebbin is particularly noteworthy as Ebbin is one of three gay candidates – in a field of 11 – running for the Moran vacancy. Ebbin's former House colleague, Mark Sickles, who is also running for the seat, recently came out in a column published in The Washington Post. The third gay candidate is talk-radio host and pundit Mark Levine, who announced his candidacy last week.
Steven Thai, Victory Fund press secretary, says candidates must first seek the Victory Fund's endorsement, as well as demonstrate an ability to fundraise and political viability, among other requirements. While Thai notes that Sickles's coming out and Levine's announcement came in the middle of the organization's endorsement process, he nonetheless reiterated that the Victory Fund stands by its endorsement of Ebbin, whom he called an ''outspoken progressive voice'' for Virginians.