An out gay Republican running for the House of Representatives has secured the endorsement of one of his state's largest newspapers.
The Boston Globe has endorsed Richard Tisei over Rep. John Tierney for Massachusetts's 6th District seat. Tierney, a pro-gay Democrat, has represented the district since 1997.
According to the Globe's endorsement, Tisei has demonstrated a moderate streak missing from the GOP during his 26 years of service in the Massachusetts State Legislature.
Tisei supports marriage equality, is pro-choice and repudiated the Republican Party's socially conservative national platform in September. He would be the first out Republican elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.
The Globe argued that "Tisei's mix of libertarianism and fiscal conservatism makes an excellent blueprint for New England Republicans."
Moreover, they, like Tisei's gay supporters, argue his voice in the Republican caucus could have the power to change hearts and minds in a party that has drifted so far to the right.
[Tisei] argues that, because he would be the only openly gay Republican to be elected to Congress, he would have a national profile of sorts. He would, and he should use it to press for tolerance and moderation among his fellow Republicans.
On the other hand, Tierney has come under fire for his handling of a tax scandal surrounding his wife and brother-in-law. According to The Globe:
Neither his brother-in-law's involvement in an offshore gambling operation nor the fact that his wife received significant payments for handling his brother-in-law’s money should, by itself, disqualify Tierney from further service. Yet his insistence that he knew nothing about the matter strains credulity. And his efforts to fend off inquiries into the subject — for instance, by trying to stage-manage how the issue might be discussed in debates — seem high-handed and disrespectful of voters' legitimate concern.
The endorsement is the latest indication that the 6th District race will be one of the closest congressional races this November. Tisei has received the coveted endorsement of Victory Fund, which has put their political and financial clout behind his candidacy in order to increase LGBT representation in government. He has also received support from members of the Republican establishment, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R).
[Photo: Richard Tisei (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).]