An openly gay Democrat in Delaware won a primary challenge defeated a six-term incumbent state legislator who criticized his participation in drag events.
Eric Morrison, 44, won 61% of the vote over incumbent Rep. Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow) in the Democratic primary for the 27th District in Delaware’s House of Representatives, which covers the greater Newark area.
The two had previously clashed after Jaques ridiculed Morrison for performing in drag shows under the name Anita Mann, telling The News Journal that Morrison’s participation in drag shows was “so far off-base” for the district.
“You wonder what the point is,” Jaques said. “You can have fundraiser, I don’t care about that. But dressing in drag? Really? I’m not sure he represents the people who attend those places of religion. If he’s actually having a fundraiser in drag, I don’t think those churches would endorse that … I’m just saying it’s a little different, that’s for sure.”
Jaques later apologized for his remarks.
While Morrison said he appreciated the apology at the time, he continued to hit Jaques for voting against legalizing same-sex marriage and not voting on a bill to ban conversion therapy back in 2013.
As late as Sunday, Morrison continued his attacks on Jaques’s record, tweeting: “My opponent claims to be a ‘Democratic moderate.’ But I say that no real Democrat votes against a woman’s right to choose, LGBT equality, banning the barbaric practice of LGBT ‘conversion therapy,’ environmental protections, and preserving vital programs for seniors.”
On Wednesday, after his victory was confirmed, Morrison tweeted: “Last night, we won our primary election with a spread of over 22%! Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign in any way, big or small. We are taking today to celebrate and rest — and tomorrow, we keep it in high gear for the November 3 general election!”
Last night, we won our primary election with a spread of over 22%! Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign in any way, big or small. We are taking today to celebrate and rest—and tomorrow, we keep it in high gear for the November 3 general election! pic.twitter.com/lPTxp7QoRZ
— EricMorrison4the27th (@EricMorrison_DE) September 16, 2020
Morrison will face Republican Donald Keister III in the Nov. 3 general election.
Morrison was one of two openly LGBTQ candidates endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund in the primary. The other, Sarah McBride, won an open seat in a Democratic-leaning State Senate district. If elected this fall, as expected, she will become Delaware’s first openly transgender lawmaker and the highest-ranking transgender lawmaker in the country.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!