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LGBT Dems Endorse Candidates in Local Races

The LGBT Democrats of Virginia and the Virginia Partisans PAC announced a series of endorsements in local races for state Senate and the House of Delegates this morning.

The PAC has endorsed Del. Adam Ebbin, who’s running in the 30th state Senate district and Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who’s running in the 31st state Senate district. The group also endorsed both candidates who are running in the 49th House of Delegates district: Alfonso Lopez and Stephanie Clifford.

While saying that Ebbin’s two primary opponents — Rob Krupicka and Libby Garvey — would be “strong allies,” and while expressing confidence that Areizaga-Soto’s opponent — Barbara Favola — would “vote on the side of equality” — the LGBT Dems nonetheless sided with Ebbin and Areizaga-Soto.

See the group’s press release, after the jump.

The Virginia Partisans, PAC of LGBT Democrats of Virginia, today announced endorsements of Delegate Adam Ebbin for the 30th State Senate District and Army JAG Lt. Colonel Jaime Areizaga-Soto for the 31st State Senate district primaries, and a dual endorsement for both Alfonso Lopez and Stephanie Clifford in the 49th House of Delegates District primary.

In the 30th Senate District, the Virginia Partisans have unanimously endorsed Delegate Adam Ebbin. Board Member Tom Osborne explained, “While all three candidates are very strong allies and would represent our issues well in the State Senate, Delegate Ebbin is currently the only openly gay member of the General Assembly.” Further, “we will not always choose an openly LGBT candidate over a straight ally, but we do believe that it is vital for our community to have a voice in Richmond and at least one seat at the table. Our endorsement of Adam Ebbin for Senate reflects our commitment to that belief.”

In the 31st Senate District, the Virginia Partisans have endorsed Jaime Areizaga-Soto. “In this race we have two candidates who we know will vote on the side of equality and serve the LGBT community well. Jaime Areizaga-Soto stands out, however, for making equality a core part of his campaign from its inception. He has demonstrated that our issues are a top priority and he will focus on them while serving his constituents in Richmond,” said President Tiffany M. Joslyn. She went on to say, “in addition, as a member of the Latino community, Jaime offers a unique perspective that is very much similar to that of our own community.”

In the 49th House of Delegates District, the Virginia Partisans reached the unanimous decision to endorse both candidates, Alfonso Lopez and Stephanie Clifford, in recognition of strong pro-equality credentials that transcend the need to pick one candidate over the other. “Both candidates have shown themselves to be pro-equality and to have our issues at the forefront of their campaigns,” said Immediate Past President Terry Mansberger. “We would like to thank Alfonso Lopez for his work on the Democratic Party of Virginia’s Steering Committee to help the LGBT caucus get a seat at the Steering Committee table. We would also like to thank Stephanie Clifford. She made LGBT issues a core part of her platform from day one and has demonstrated her commitment to our community at every turn. Both of these candidates would be strong allies. We look forward to working with either Alfonso or Stephanie in Richmond.”

Ebbin and Areizaga-Soto are seeking the Democratic nomination for the 30th and 31st State Senate seats, vacant due to the retirement of long-time Senators Patsy Ticer and Mary Margaret Whipple. The 30th Senate District stretches from South Arlington to Mount Vernon and includes the city of Alexandria and parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties. The 31st Senate District is majority Arlington County and includes portions of Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Clifford and Lopez are vying for the seat left open by Adam Ebbin in the 49th District, which now includes most of South Arlington and portions of Fairfax County. These districts are all heavily Democratic and the winners of the August 23rd Democratic primary are expected to sail to victory in November. Virginia is an open primary state and the deadline for registration is August 1st.

All candidates seeking the endorsement of the Virginia Partisans PAC are required to submit the PAC’s 2011 Endorsement Questionnaire. Questionnaires of the above endorsed candidates, and all other candidates seeking endorsement, are available online at: http://lgbtvadem.org/virginia-partisans/endorsements/. Endorsements by the Virginia Partisans PAC do not constitute endorsements from the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

The Virginia Partisans was founded more than 20 years ago as a voice for gay Democrats, initially in Northern Virginia. Today, the Virginia Partisans PAC is a statewide Political Action Committee affiliated with LGBT Democrats of Virginia, a project created in partnership with the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia, an affiliate of National Stonewall Democrats. In recent years, the Virginia Partisans has raised and spent more than $100,000 to support the election of pro-equality Democrats at the local, state and national levels from Virginia.

This is a critical election year for Virginia’s LGBT community. Currently, Democrats hold a mere two seat advantage in the State Senate and the Republicans control both the Governor’s mansion and the House of Delegates. With the entire Virginia general assembly up for election this November and the State Senate hanging in the balance, the Partisans are dedicated to raising 40 for 40—$40,000 for the 40 Virginia State Senate seats—to keep the Virginia Senate blue. The Partisans recently raised over $21,000 at its first of a series of fundraisers dedicated to this goal and will use funds raised to support pro-equality Democrats on the ballot this November. More information can be found at www.lgbtvadem.org.

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