The California GOP encouraged members and affiliate groups to recruit diverse candidates to run as Republicans. The Log Cabin Club lined up a bunch, more than any other group. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Of course, running gay Republicans in hopelessly Democratic districts is not entirely new in California politics. I remember back in 1992, when Mark Robbins ran for Congress in my district. A pre-election LAT feature reported:
In this, an election year of almost rabid anti-incumbency, it would seem that attorney Mark A. Robbins has a real opportunity to win a plum congressional seat representing much of the Westside and southern San Fernando Valley.
Robbins, 33, is a "fiscally responsive but socially aware" pro-choice candidate waging a well-financed and politically sophisticated campaign against an incumbent forced to run in an unfamiliar new district.
As an openly gay candidate, Robbins can count on some support from progressives and gay voters in Silverlake, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. And the fact that his opponent is a veteran congressman who bounced 434 checks in the House bank scandal -- and who is at the very heart of the Capitol Hill political Establishment -- doesn't hurt either. The incumbent, Robbins never tires of saying, "represents all that's wrong with the political system today."
Yet, political analysts give Robbins and three other candidates in the 29th Congressional District race little or no chance of winning. The reason: They are running against Rep. Henry A. Waxman, one of the most recognized and well-funded liberal politicians in the nation.
Robbins lost with 26% of the vote, to Waxman's 61%. I met him at a party not long after the election. "Hey, I voted for you," I said. He responded with a smile, "I wish more people had." Now he's the Bush administration's appointee as general counsel at the Office of Personnel Management.