For First Time, Gay GOP House Candidate Features Partner In Ad

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February 13, 2014 10:41 a.m.

In what could be a political first, a gay Republican congressional candidate released a campaign ad featuring shots with his partner.

Carl DeMaio, who is running for the GOP nomination in California’s 52nd Congressional District to challenge Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, included shots of he and his partner Johnathan Hale at a gay pride parade. GOP consultants and independent media analysts told the Wall Street Journal that they believed it was that first time that a candidate from either party had released an ad with a same-sex partner.

“This is who I am,” DeMaio told the Journal. “It’s something that’s important to me. I want to embrace equality, and feel like the party should, too.”

He told the newspaper that he had wanted to feature Hale in ads during his unsuccessful run for San Diego mayor in 2012, but his then-campaign advisers discouraged it. He’s since hired new talent, he said.

DeMaio is considered the frontrunner for the Republican nod after receiving endorsements from House Republican leaders. The seat is considered a toss-up by the Cook Political Report.

The ad was posted to YouTube Monday.

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