Eve of the Primary: Gay Senate Candidate Adam Ebbin's Endorsements

Posted by John Riley
August 22, 2011 7:15 PM |

Northern Virginia Democratic primary voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether they will nominate Virginia Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Arlington), Virginia's only out gay politician, for the 30th Senate District seat being vacated by retiring state Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria).

Ebbin.jpgEbbin -- profiled on Aug. 11 in Metro Weekly -- is running in a three-way Democratic primary against Alexandria City Council member K. Rob Krupicka and Arlington School Board member Elizabeth Garvey. The district runs south from Arlington through parts of Alexandria and into Fairfax County down to Fort Belvoir. Polls in Virginia will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Ebbin has received endorsements from a host of liberal-leaning organizations including the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, the Virginia National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, the Arlington and Fairfax County Associations of Professional Firefighters and Paramedics, the Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club, Equality Virginia, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and The Falls Church News Press.

Ebbin has also received endorsements from his Northern Virginia colleagues in the House of Delegates, including Dels. Mark Sickles, Scott Surovell, David Bulova, Eileen Filler-Corn, Mark Keam, Kaye Kory, Ken Plum and Vivian Watts of Fairfax, Charniele Herring of Alexandria and Bob Brink and Patrick Hope of Arlington.

Ebbin has also been endorsed by state Sens. John Edwards (D-Roanoke) and Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) and former 11th District U.S. Rep. Leslie Byrne (D-Fairfax).

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Arlington) has stayed neutral in the race, while U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Fairfax), one of Byrne's successors, has endorsed Krupicka.

Although The Washington Post endorsed Krupicka, they also praised Ebbin, saying:

"Both Mr. Ebbin and Mr. Krupicka are well respected, substantive and effective, and either one would make an excellent senator."

Ebbin did receive the endorsement of progressive blogger and executive director of the Accountability Now PAC Ben Tribbett, who writes for the Virginia political blog Not Larry Sabato. Tribbett writes:

"...This [2003] was a time when conservative Delegates (including some Democrats) wouldn't hesitate to compare the GLBT community to rapists, bestiality or polygamists on the House floor when these issues would come up.

Along came Adam's election and a funny thing happened.  Virtually every member (with a couple exceptions like Dick Black and Bob Marshall) didn't want to say those things anymore.  Once they had to say it to a colleague's face who could stand up and personally challenge them, many Delegates changed their behavior.  In addition, the vote tally's [sic] on these issues started to change, as many Democrats in the caucus didn't want to cast votes against the GLBT community with Adam sitting there.

In fact, noticing the change and how out of touch he was looking, even Mark Warner turned it around.  Before Adam had even finished his first term in the House, Warner amended his first executive order and added sexual orientation as a protected class- something Tim Kaine continued and it stayed as the law of the Commonwealth until Bob McDonnell's election last year.

Elections are about the future and not the past.  So why Adam now?...because of what it means to the debate in Richmond to have one legislator who is openly gay- something we would lose if Adam doesn't win this election.  There are so many critical issues coming up in this area, as Virginia crafts policy to deal with out of state gay marriages that relocate here and become divorces, sometimes with children involved or begins grappling with the repeal of the Marshall-Newman amendment.  If you care about those issues, you don't want to return Richmond to a time where no legislator was able to personalize the debate the way Adam has."

[Photo: Ebbin (Photo by Todd Franson.)]

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