Nov 2, 2014

Candidate Spotlight: Lawrence Gaughan, 5th Congressional District

Lawrence Gaughan was born in the heart of Virginia’s 5th Congressional district. A native of Charlottesville, he is the founder of the non-partisan, non-profit organization, GOV360. Lawrence is also a credited actor, director and producer in the entertainment industry, where he has been a trade union member in the Screen Actors Guild since 1996. In addition to other educational credits, he has a Masters in Social Change Theory which gives him the background to help work to make that change happen.

Gauhan is pro-Equality and supports efforts to protect victims of domestic violence. In 2009, Lawrence co-wrote and directed the festival short movie, “Circles of Life”, about the prominent signs of domestic violence. He spoke in September to the attendees of the Equality Breakfast where the LGBT Democrats honored the 4 couples who were fighting for Marriage Equality in Virginia’s courts. He also supports laws and regulations that will help the middle class and lower class gain ground, stating: “Government works just fine for the 1 percent,” Gaughan said. “They benefit the most from the system, and they get the most benefits from our government. But we can’t put our [national] debt on the backs of veterans, seniors, students, and working people like myself.”

His Republican opponent, incumbent, Robert Hurt has refused to stand up and answer to the voters in an open debate. Following a recent forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Gaughan remarked: “When my incumbent opponent fails to participate in the non-partisan candidate forum sponsored by the prestigious and respected League of Women Voters he shows his lack of respect for and interest in the voters. I, and the two independent candidates, answered questions from the League, and several audience questions as well. I thank the League of Women Voters for the opportunity to speak directly to voters and answer their questions in a public forum.”

In 2010, Lawrence founded GOV360 as an educational 501 (c)(3). He acquired grant funding from Google and other sources and began conducting research into the crisis of low civic participation, especially focusing on local and non-presidential elections. While continuing to work as an actor and serving as the CEO of GOV360, Lawrence found time to travel to Nicaragua to observe that country’s 2012 municipal elections, which, for the first time in that nation’s history, called for equal representation by women.

Lawrence has turned over daily operations of the non-partisan organization he founded, and is now dedicated full time to working on his campaign. Lawrence is very proud of his lifelong connection to central Virginia as well as his years of dedication and service to the Democratic Party and his voter engagement work.

The LGBT Democrats of Virginia are excited to see such a qualified candidate running for the 5th Congressional District. Gaughan was very strong on Equality when he returned our endorsement questionnaire and we have endorsed him and donated money in hopes to help him attain victory.