EQCA
Equality California
IN CLOSELY WATCHED RACES SUPPORTERS OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY DEFEAT ANTI-MARRIAGE OPPONENTS

2006 Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2006

CONTACT: Dannie Tillman, Director of Communications & Coalitions
PHONE:    (323) 217-8875                   EMAIL: 
media@eqca.org

IN CLOSELY WATCHED RACES SUPPORTERS OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY DEFEAT ANTI-MARRIAGE OPPONENTS

All Incumbents Who Voted For 2005 Marriage Bill Win Their Primaries

Sacramento, CA – In the only two races in yesterday’s primary where candidates who voted for AB 849, the bill to allow same-sex couples to marry in California, ran against candidates who did not vote for the bill, both pro-equality candidates won. 

"California voters have shown that standing up for fairness and equality under the law, including marriage rights for same-sex couples, is a winning formula,” said Geoffrey Kors, EQCA executive director. “In critical races where one candidate voted for AB 849 and the other did not, the pro-marriage candidate won.”

In the District 4 Board of Equalization race, pro-equality stalwart Judy Chu prevailed against Jerome Horton who consistently did not support legislation protecting the LGBT community, including AB 849, while he was in the Assembly.

In San Bernardino County’s 34th Senate District, Assemblymember Gloria Negrete McLeod, who voted for the marriage bill knowing that her district might not support such a vote, soundly defeated Assemblymember Joe Baca Jr. who did not vote for AB 849 and said he would vote against it in the Senate.

Equality California’s Political Action Committee (EQCA PAC), a sponsored committee of Equality California, the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization endorsed Steve Westly for governor and 55 other candidates for the legislature and statewide offices, 80% of whom prevailed yesterday.   The outcome of these races set the stage for a critical November general election. 

Of the 22 incumbents running for re-election, who voted for the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (AB 849) in 2005, 100% of them won their primaries. 

The EQCA PAC engaged in an unprecedented level of election activity, recruiting hundreds of volunteers across the state and raising a record $50,000.  EQCA contributed directly to candidate campaigns for the first time, placed nearly 10,000 automated phone calls, and sent 130,000 pieces of mail, including a candidate slate card.  

“The Equality California PAC was able to communicate its endorsements to well over 100,000 LGBT and allied Californians,” said Seth Kilbourn, EQCA political director.  “In these close elections, this type of constituent contact can make all the difference, dramatically increasing the political clout of the LGBT community.” 

Of the four openly gay or lesbian candidates, two incumbents, Assemblymembers Mark Leno and John Laird won their primaries.  Elena Popp, an openly lesbian candidate in the 45th Assembly District, lost her bid to replace LGBT caucus member Jackie Goldberg who is retiring.  In the 80th Assembly District openly gay Mayor of Palm Springs appears to have lost an extremely close race to Steve Clute.

“Of course, we would like all of our endorsed candidates to win,” said EQCA PAC chair, Diane Abbitt.  “We congratulate Phil Angelides and are pleased that such a strong supporter of our community who has pledged to sign the marriage bill is the Democratic candidate for governor.”

Please click here for the complete list of the primary election results.

EQCA PAC is a sponsored committee of Equality California, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Equality California is one of the leading statewide LGBT organizations in the country. We can be contacted through our website at www.eqca.org.

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