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Equality California Endorses Will Rollins for Congress in CA-41
Openly Gay Former Federal Prosecutor Is Running To Unseat Anti-LGBTQ+ Congressman Ken Calvert in Newly Competitive District
February 7, 2022 at 8:33 am

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February 7, 2022

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, endorsed former federal prosecutor Will Rollins for Congress on Monday. Rollins, who is openly gay, is running against anti-LGBTQ+ Republican Congressman Ken Calvert in California’s new 41st district. Redistricting made the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley-based district significantly more competitive — Trump won the new district by just one percentage point — and added cities with significant LGBTQ+ populations including Palm Springs and Cathedral City. Calvert was first elected to Congress in 1994 after he outed his opponent — now his colleague Congressman Mark Takano — and attacked him for being gay.

“As a former federal prosecutor who helped bring terrorists and treasonists to justice, Will Rollins is the right candidate to defeat anti-LGBTQ+ extremist Ken Calvert,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “Unlike Congressman Calvert, Will is focused on improving the lives of California families, protecting our national security and achieving full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people. We’re thrilled to support his campaign and look forward to working with him in Congress. And on a personal note, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect ending to Calvert’s career than being beaten by an openly gay candidate.”

If Rollins and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who is running for the new 42nd district, both win their races and Takano is reelected, then California will have three openly gay members of Congress for the first time in history.

“I am honored to have the support of Equality California in my bid to unseat one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ congressmen in the House,” said Rollins. “The Inland Empire and Coachella Valley deserve a representative who they know will stand up for them on the issues that matter most: lowering costs on working families, improving access to affordable healthcare, protecting human rights, and combating the devastating effects of climate change on our communities.”

After attending Dartmouth and Columbia Law School, Will clerked for two federal judges in California. He began tackling injustice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, protecting the public from white-collar criminals, including a Ponzi scheme organizer who defrauded dozens of seniors out of their retirement savings, as well as a corrupt physician who sold opiates for cash. Will later joined the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section of the National Security Division, where he prosecuted an electrical engineer for conspiring to send microchips with missile guidance applications to China, Iranian nationals for violating U.S. sanctions on Tehran, a reported QAnon follower for an attack at the Port of Los Angeles, and some of the insurrectionists who attacked the US Capitol on January 6th.

In addition to Equality California, Rollins has been endorsed by LGBTQ Victory Fund, Equality PAC, Palm Springs City Councilmembers and former Mayors Christy Holstege and Geoff Kors, Lake Elsinore Mayor Tom Sheridan and other elected and community leaders. Rollins also raised an impressive $313,000 in the first nine weeks of his campaign.

For a full list of Equality California’s 2022 endorsements to date, visit eqca.org/elections.


Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

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