Political Update: GOP presidential candidates coming to California, plus local Republican endorsements

SAN DIEGO – The upcoming week is jam-packed with Republican-related events featuring national and local candidates.

With President Barack Obama likely running unopposed for the Democrats, much of the debates and events at this point have been all about the Republican Party. On Monday, Sept. 12, the front-runners for the GOP nomination met in Florida for the Tea Party Debate hosted by CNN; that is, all of the candidates except the openly-gay Republican, Fred Karger.

When the candidates come to California this weekend, however, Karger will be among the candidates participating in the California Republican Party Fall Convention from Sept. 16 to 18 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) of California, a gay and lesbian Republican political grass-roots organization, will host a Welcome Luau on Friday, Sept. 16, from 9:30 pm to midnight. All convention attendees are welcome to join LCR for mai tais, music and the opportunity to meet and network with prominent Republicans from around the state in a casual setting.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, LCR will host a Champagne Reception for Fred Karger at 11:15 am. The free event will give attendees a chance to meet Karger and mingle with fellow convention attendees. The event appearance for Karger follows the Sept. 14 Kindle release of his memoirs - “Fred Who? Political Insider or Outsider.”

Karger also recently received the endorsement of DADT activist and former Army 1st Lieutenant, Dan Choi. In a recent interview with the The Daily Caller, Choi expressed his frustration over Obama’s "lukewarm embrace of gay rights" and stated he would consider voting for two GOP candidates should they get the nomination.

“Gary Johnson and Fred Karger are the salvation of the Republican Party and I would choose either of these courageous leaders over Barack Obama any day,” Choi declared.

in san diego

The local LCR group will be focusing its attention on celebrating the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) and hosting an informal Q&A with Mayoral Republican candidate Nathan Fletcher on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 6:30 pm.

LCR San Diego President Victoria Kerley tells San Diego Gay & Lesbian News that the Evening of Service is a celebration for all in the community, regardless of political party affiliation.

“This night is a celebration of a victory and a reminder that there is still much work to do for full and total equality. We thank the Republicans who have been brave enough to stand with our community,” Kerley said. “This fight was won by us all as a community. We invite all members of the LGBT community to join us, regardless of party affiliation, as we look to future and celebrate our community’s hard fought victory.”

Part of looking towards the future for LCR San Diego, is giving its members the opportunity to hear from all Republican mayoral candidates on what their vision is for San Diego. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has already spoken with LCR, and LCR hopes to meet with San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio next.

On Sept. 20, however, the focus will be on Fletcher.

“We feel we are richly blessed with candidates that have San Diego's and the LGBT's best interests at heart. We are more concerned with who we feel can get the job done, than on sexuality. We are prepared to endorse whomever we feel is the most qualified,” Kerley said. “From this field, we can not go wrong. All the candidates are top notch.”

Prior to making any endorsement, Kerley explained that LCR members will take a vote, and deem each Republican candidate endorsable, acceptable, neutral or unacceptable.

In addition to the LCR event, Fletcher will debate U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, the lone Democrat running for mayor, on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 10:30 am at Ingram Plaza in Liberty Station. The debate is part of Politifest 2011, hosted by Voice of San Diego and NBC 7.

DeMaio will continue his efforts to qualify the Pension Reform Ballot Measure for the June 2012 election throughout the weekend. On Thursday, Sept. 15, he will host a live “Sign-a-thon” tele-cast on KUSI (Channel 9/51) from 4 to 8 pm. San Diegans interested in the petition will have the opportunity to do so at eight different locations throughout the county.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, from 8:30 am to 4 pm, DeMaio supporters will gather once again for another “Signature Walk.” Volunteers will again enjoy a barbeque lunch, courtesy of Phil’s BBQ and free beer from local breweries at the end of the day. For additional information, email cpr@realpensionreform.com

Endorsements

The Republican Party of San Diego County has yet to make any mayoral endorsements, but on Sept. 12, they formally endorsed Jan Goldsmith for re-election as San Diego City Attorney, Jerry Kern for Oceanside mayor, and Steve Danon for County Supervisor - District 3.

Chairman Tony Krvaric said this of the endorsements: “[We] will endorse candidates who are reformers and have made a commitment to stand with hard working taxpayers and job creators - for ALL elected offices up in 2012. Partisan or 'non-partisan,' we believe that every office is an opportunity to put our proud Republican ideas into action.”

To submit questions you would like to see the candidates answer, request coverage of a campaign event, or for any inquires regarding campaign coverage in the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, please email Staff Writer Esther Rubio-Sheffrey at esther@sdgln.com or call toll-free to (877) 727-5446 x711.

As a matter of full disclosure, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with Carl DeMaio. Their relationship in no way impacts the editorial decisions made by Ken Williams, SDGLN Editor in Chief, and does not influence our political coverage. All candidates are allowed to submit two pieces per month for our Commentary page. Williams can be reached at ken@sdgln.com or (877) 727-5446, x713.

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