LPAC, the country’s first and only lesbian political action committee, has announced it is endorsing seven candidates seeking political office in New Jersey and Virginia this November.
All seven candidates, most of them first-time politicians, earned the endorsement because of their stated support for LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and social justice. All seven endorsements were also unanimously approved by LPAC’s Board of Directors.
“Across Virginia and New Jersey, these seven candidates are standing up for women and LGBTQ constituents,” Urvashi Vaid, the interim executive director of LPAC, said in a statement. “We are proud to endorse these candidates, whose victories would be a vital step towards advancing leadership at the state level that is willing to champion equal rights for women and LGBTQ people.”
In New Jersey, LPAC has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, who is running against Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was Governor Chris Christie’s running mate.
Murphy’s stated support for LGBTQ rights contrasts with the Christie-Guadagno administration’s stance on LGBTQ rights. As governor, Christie vetoed several pro-equality bills, including bills to legalize marriage equality, allow transgender people to obtain vital documents, like birth certificates, that reflect their gender identity, and allow LGBTQ couples and others to establish gestational surrogacy agreements.
In Virginia, LPAC has endorsed six Democratic candidates for the state House of Delegates running against Republican incumbents.
Two of those candidates, Dawn Adams, running in the 68th House District against Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond), and Danica Roem, running in the 13th House District against Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), are among seven LGBTQ candidates appearing on the November ballot. If elected, Adams, a nurse practitioner, would become the first out lesbian to serve in the General Assembly, and Roem, a journalist, would become the first out transgender General Assembly member.
LPAC has also endorsed Donte Tanner, an Air Force veteran and small business owner who is the Democratic Party’s nominee for the 40th District against Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville).
In the 31st District, LPAC has endorsed Elizabeth Guzman, a public administrator and social worker, for the seat held by Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge).
In the 2nd District, LPAC has endorsed Jennifer Carroll Foy, a public defender who was among the third class of female cadets to graduate from the Virginia Military Institute, for the Woodbridge-based seat held by Del. Mark Dudenhefer (R-Stafford).
In the 21st District, LPAC has endorsed Kelly Fowler, who is challenging Del. Ron Villanueva (R-Virginia Beach). While Villanueva has been a sponsor of a pro-LGBTQ housing measure in recent legislative sessions, LPAC has cited his past votes against LGBTQ rights, as well as his opposition to immigrant and abortion rights, as some of the reasons motivating their support of Fowler.
Both Virginia and New Jersey will hold their 2017 elections on Nov. 7.