Stonewall Unable to Endorse in Two Key Assembly Races

by Charles PeerPan and Miles

Candidates for Assembly Districts 5 and 9 pled their cases before a packed house of LGBT Democrats, but because the Stonewall Democratic Club rules require a 60 percent vote, no one was able to walk away with the Club’s coveted endorsement.

The Candidates Forum was held on Monday, March 8 and over 150 club members listened as Larry Miles and Dr. Richard Pan, candidates for the 5th Assembly District discussed their qualifications and answered questions from the audience.

 


The 5th District is emerging as a key battle for Democrats as the likely Republican candidate is Andrew Pugno, one of the primary forces behind Proposition 8.

With a slight majority of Republican voters in the District, it is thought to be a close race. Both Miles and Pan have drawn strong, if not split, support from within the LGBT community and other Democratic groups. However, when all the Stonewall votes were cast, Miles finished with a 52 percent advantage.Lauren Hammond

The 9th District was even harder for the Club to decide, as it featured four strong candidates, three longtime LGBT allies and a relative new comer to Sacramento.

Vying for the position are Sacramento City Council members Lauren Hammond and Kevin McCarty, Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson and Chris Garland, an advocate with the California Faculty Association.

The 9th District is heavily registered Democratic and is currently represented by Dave Jones. It is widely anticipated that the winner of the primary election will go on to win the general election in November.Chris Garland

At Stonewall’s meeting, the candidates and their supporters each gave a strong argument for why they were the best candidate, but when the votes were counted, none were able to muster the needed 60 percent to win the endorsement. Roger Dickinson led the voting with 51 percent, Kevin McCarthy had 28 percent of the vote, Chris Garland 11 percent and Lauren Hammond four percent (the remainder voted not to endorse any candidate.)

When asked if the club had a procedure for a runoff, Club President Chris Moore said that he was unaware of one.

In other matters during the meeting, Stonewall made contributions to the campaigns of Ryan Chin and Phil Serna. Chin, who is running for Sacramento City council District 7, the Pocket/Greenhave and Valley Hi Areas of Scaramento, received a $2,000 contribution. Serna, who is running for Sacramento County Supervisor District 1, received a $1,000 contribution, the maximum contribution the club could make in that race.

Moore announced that Sacramento Stonewall's membership has grown to over 510, making it the largest of 90 Stonewall chapters nationwide.Roger Dickinson

Moore also announced that Stonewall’s annual Four Freedom Awards Dinner will be held on May 26, and that Speaker of the Assembly John Perez will be honored at the ceremony. The Four Freedoms Awards is Stonewall's largest fundraising event, raising most of the funds that the club donates to the campaigns of LGBT and LGBT supportive candidates.

Stonewall is currently seeking nominations for the awards that recognize the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear.

Information on nominations can be found at the club’s Web site www.SacStonewall.orgKevin McCarty

 

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