DeMaio’s new ad with openly gay partner is GOP first

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SAN DIEGO – A few seconds of a campaign video posted on YouTube turned the national spotlight Thursday on San Diego congressional candidate Carl DeMaio.

DeMaio Partner AdAccording to Republican Party officials and a political advertising expert, the 88-second video is the first they can remember of a candidate from either party that includes a same-sex partner, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The clip shows the former city councilman and onetime mayoral candidate holding hands with Johnathan Hale during a San Diego Pride Parade in 2012.
DeMaio is openly gay and has not hid his relationship with Hale, who publishes San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.

The clip — which could be included in a future television commercial — is followed by a couple seconds of DeMaio holding up a rainbow flag.

He’s running as a GOP candidate to unseat Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego. Peters defeated incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray in a close election in 2012 and the seat is considered vulnerable this year.   

The ad is titled, “Carl DeMaio: New Generation Republican.” The tone of the video includes lines such as “the possibilities of a better day” and “a new approach for a new time.” The female narrator describes DeMaio as a “problem solver who isn’t afraid to be different.”

Over the clips with Hale and the rainbow flag, she says DeMaio “believes in equality and diversity, and is a defender of our personal freedoms.” 

In a statement, Peters said he applauds DeMaio “for being public about his committed relationship with Jonathan.”

“No one should be discriminated against for who they are or who they love, something I, alongside my close friends in the LGBT community, have worked hard to help achieve for more than a decade,” Peters said. “I pledge to continue this fight in every way that I can until everyone feels safe taking this step.”

DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress. The others are in Vermont and Massachusetts.

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