Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013
For Immediate Release
Revised March 11, 2014
Contact: Rick Rosendall
Gray, Mendelson, Wells, Evans Top GLAA Primary Ratings
Gay-supportive officeholders topped the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) candidate ratings for the April 1 primaries. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson each earned the highest possible rating of +10. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, running for Mayor, earned +9.5. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, also running for Mayor, earned +8. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh earned +8.5. These officeholders were joined at the top of the GLAA ratings by Ward 6 candidate Charles Allen, former Wells chief of staff, who earned +8.5.
The following are explanations of the individual ratings. Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return a questionnaire and was therefore rated solely on his or her known record on LGBT issues.
Democratic incumbent Vincent Gray (+10) agrees with GLAA on almost all issues and demonstrated a firm understanding. Mr. Gray's accessibility, responsiveness, and follow-through have made him highly effective on LGBT issues. He has been a champion for transgender people, including with Project Empowerment job training. Our few differences were swamped by his total record of accomplishment. Mr. Gray is one of only two candidates in the April 1 primary to receive the highest possible rating of +10.
Democratic candidate Tommy Wells (+9.5) agrees with GLAA on almost all issues and has a solid understanding of them. Mr. Wells has an excellent voting record going back to his days on the School Board. Recently, as Chair of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, Mr. Wells has shepherded through the Marriage Officiant Act, and the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 and has a number of bills for us in development. Unlike most other councilmembers, Mr. Wells opposed delaying the Attorney General election and signed onto a letter to Congress in 2011 opposing plans to impose school vouchers on D.C.
Democratic candidate Jack Evans (+9) has a strong questionnaire and a long track record of solid support of LGBT issues. Mr. Evans has the longest record of support of any candidate. In 2013 Evans drafted and moved legislative language in the Committee on Finance and Revenue, which he chairs, entitled the "Marriage Equality Estate Tax Clarification Act of 2013."
Democratic candidate Andy Shallal (+6) has a good questionnaire and a strong record for a non-incumbent. His generosity to various LGBT groups is notable.
Democratic candidate Muriel E. Bowser (+5.5) disagrees with GLAA on a number of issues, but has a strong record. Her co-authorship of the LGBTQ Homeless Reform Amendment Act of 2013 is especially appreciated and noted.
Democratic candidate Reta Jo Lewis (+4.5) is generally supportive, but has a limited record on our issues.
Democratic candidate Vincent Orange (+3) agrees with GLAA on every issue but showed no understanding of the issues in his questionnaire. His record is mixed.
Democratic candidate Carlos Allen (0*) did not return a questionnaire, and has no known record.
Statehood-Green candidate Faith (+3.5) agrees with GLAA on every issue, but showed a weak understanding of the issues and a weak record.
Libertarian candidate Bruce Majors (+2) has an unusual response to many of questions. His and his party's ideological distrust of government is at odds with policies and reforms favored by GLAA. Consequently, many of his responses were interpreted as non-responsive or negative.
Democratic incumbent Phil Mendelson (+10) has been our champion on the council. His record, including shepherding the marriage equality effort through the council over a period of many years, is unchallenged. Most recently, Mr. Mendelson introduced and moved through the Council the Civil Marriage Dissolution Equality Amendment Act of 2011 and the Judicial Declaration of Parentage Amendment Act of 2011. Both are technical and not attention grabbing, but very important for protecting our families. He is one of only two candidates in the April 1 primary to receive the highest possible rating of +10.
Democratic candidate Calvin H. Gurley (+1) returned a late questionnaire which was uninformed, argumentative, and lacked substance. He was given credit for supporting marriage equality against opposition in Ward 5.
Democratic candidate Nate Bennett-Fleming (+7) agrees with GLAA on almost all issues, shows a strong understanding of them, and brings his own ideas for solutions. He has supported and collaborated with the LGBT community both as a student and as a candidate.
Democratic incumbent Anita Bonds (+6) has a strong questionnaire and has shown herself to be a reliable ally in her short time on the Council.
Democratic candidate Pedro Rubio (+3) agrees with GLAA on many issues but fails to demonstrate an understanding of the issues. He has a limited record.
Democratic candidate John F. Settles, II (+2.5) agrees with GLAA on most issues, but fails to demonstrate an understanding of the issues. He has no known record.
Democratic candidate Kevin Valentine, Jr. (0*) did not return a questionnaire, and has no known record.
Republican candidate Marc Morgan (+2*) did not return a questionnaire but his record includes his employment as a fundraiser for Equality Ohio to defeat Issue 1; Arizona Together in the No on 102 campaign; and the National Minority AIDS Council are all very admirable. However, his support for the campaigns of anti-gay politicians John Boehner, Robert Ehrlich, and Laura Knapereck detract from his record.
Statehood-Green candidate Eugene Puryear (+4.5) has an ideological stance often at odds with GLAA's perspective. His answers were often interpreted as non-responsive or negative. He has a limited record on LGBT issues.
Statehood-Green candidate G. Lee Aikin (+3) agrees with GLAA on most issues, but fails to demonstrate an understanding of the issues. She has no known record.
Libertarian candidate Frederick Steiner (0*) did not return a questionnaire, and has no known record.
Ward 1 Councilmember
Democratic incumbent Jim Graham (+7.5) has a strong record of support on LGBT concerns, but disagrees with GLAA on some issues. Notable among his recent accomplishments was moving the LGBTQ Homeless Reform Amendment Act of 2013 through the Council.
Democratic candidate Brianne K. Nadeau (+5) has a strong questionnaire, but has a limited record on LGBT issues.
Ward 3 Councilmember
Democratic incumbent Mary M. Cheh (+8.5) has a strong questionnaire and a long track record of solid support of LGBT issues. Her co-authoring the LGBTQ Homeless Reform Amendment Act of 2013 and authoring the Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act of 2013 are particularly notable.
Libertarian candidate Ryan Sabot (0*) did not return a questionnaire, and has no known record.
Ward 5 Councilmember
Democratic incumbent Kenyan McDuffie (+4.5) agrees with GLAA on several issues, but has not established a strong record in his short time on the Council.
Democratic candidate Kathy Henderson (0) had a weak questionnaire and a record of opposing gay nightclubs and medical marijuana cultivation centers.
Democratic candidate Carolyn C. Steptoe (-2*) did not return a questionnaire, but has testified before the Board of Elections and the Council in support of putting the right of same-sex couples to marry on the ballot. She has not advocated putting anyone else's fundamental rights to public vote. This was the position of marriage equality opponents in the District.
Ward 6 Councilmember
Democratic candidate Charles Allen (+8.5) has a strong questionnaire and a long history of supporting LGBT issues as a Council staff member and President of the ward 6 Democrats. He testified in favor of marriage equality before the Council, presenting the Ward 6 Democrats' resolution in support. His rating is very good for a first time candidate.
Democratic candidate Darrel Thompson (+3) submitted a weak questionnaire. He was awarded a record point based on his work as a senior staffer to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, and then-Senator Barack Obama on a series of legislative initiatives advancing LGBT concerns.
Libertarian candidate Pranav Badhwar (+2) has responses in his questionnaire that reflect his libertarian outlook, but often clash with GLAA's positions. He has no known record.
GLAA rates candidates on a scale of -10 to +10, based on their answers to our questionnaire and their record on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. The questionnaire addresses a variety of issues on marriage and family, public health, public safety, human rights, youth, and protection for LGBT consumers and businesses. GLAA's policy brief, questionnaire, and complete candidate responses are available online at www.glaa.org.
All candidates were advised to read Building on Victory, GLAA's policy brief on LGBT issues in Washington, D.C.
Ratings should not be interpreted as endorsements. GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan elections.
Independent mayoral and council candidates will be rated prior to the general election.
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., founded in 1971, is a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights in Washington, DC. We are the nation's oldest continuously active LGBT civil rights organization. We have rated candidates for office in every D.C. primary and general election since 1971.
To see the full text of a candidate's questionnaire responses, click on his or her name below.
Ward 1 Councilmember
Ward 3 Councilmember
Ward 5 Councilmember
Ward 6 DC Councilmember
* Ms. Tillman withdrew from the Democratic primary on Feb. 6 and will run as an independent in the general
election. She was therefore not rated for the primary, but we are sharing her responses, submitted earlier.
Shadow Representative (not rated)
** GLAA does not rate candidates for shadow seats; but Mr. Moulton filled out a questionnaire, so we are sharing it.
Breakdown of available ratings points
|Questionnaire: yes/no||+/- 2 points|
|Questionnaire: substantive grasp of issues||+/- 4 points|
|Record:||+/- 3 points|
|Championship: taking the lead on an issue|
of concern to LGBT people
|+/- 1 point
|Total available:||+/- 10 points|
Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return a questionnaire and was therefore rated solely on his or her known record on LGBT issues.
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC is a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization, founded in 1971 to advance the equal rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people in Washington, DC. We are the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.