Jul 17, 2011

LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC Raises over $21K for Pro-Equality Democrats

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40-for-40 Small LogoThe Virginia Partisans PAC, the Political Action Committee of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia, raised over $21K at a fundraiser held Thursday at the home of Arlington County Board Member Jay Fisette and Bob Rosen. All funds raised will be used to support pro-equality Democrats in Virginia.

The fundraiser, titled 40 for 40 – Keep the Senate Blue, represents the kick-off of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia’s 2011 fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $1,000 for each seat in the Virginia Senate. A line-up of speakers including Senator McEachin and Terry McAuliffe spoke to an enthusiastic audience of nearly 200 supporters. Terry McAuliffe, 2009 Democratic primary candidate for Governor of Virginia and current Chairman of GreenTech Automotive, headlined the event. McAuliffe expressed his disappointment that current Republican Governor Bob McDonnell didn’t follow the example of Democratic governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine when McDonnell omitted LGBT citizens in his executive order on nondiscrimination. McAuliffe also called for LGBT nondiscrimination to be Virginia law.

A straw poll held at the event allowed attendees to cast ballots for candidates running in the Virginia 30th and 31st Senate Districts. In the 30th District, current Delegate Adam Ebbin, Virginia’s first openly gay member of the General Assembly, won the poll with 60% of the vote against Rob Krupicka (28%) and Libby Garvey (11%). One percent of those voting were undecided. In the 31st District, Jaime Areizaga-Soto won with 54% of ballots cast against Barbara Favola who had 38% of the vote. Eight percent were undecided.

A reoccurring theme for speakers at the event was that LGBT equality was a human rights issue that went beyond partisan politics. To attendees, Tiffany M. Joslyn, President of the Virginia Partisans PAC, said, “I know that we are Partisans, that we are focused on electing Democrats, but we understand that equality is not just a Democratic thing, or a Republican thing. This is about human rights. This is not a partisan matter.” Joslyn added, ”We must elect democratic leaders who will reach across the aisle to share our stories, work together and lead the way to equality in Virginia.”

This event was one of the largest events ever for the Virginia Partisans PAC, which partnered earlier this year with the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia to form LGBT Democrats of Virginia. Many elected officials from almost every level of Virginia government were in attendance, including Congressman Jim Moran. The organization is very grateful for the overwhelming support shown by all those who attended and contributed, especially from the volunteers and speakers who made the event possible.

The Virginia Partisans PAC is currently considering endorsements for 2011 elections. More information, including a candidate questionnaire that is due on August 8th for general elections, can be found the LGBT Democrats of Virginia website at https://lgbtvadem.org.