Pioneering gay congressman Sean Patrick Maloney elected to powerful new role
Gay congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has been elected to a powerful role in the Democratic leadership.
Maloney, one of only seven out LGBT+ people currently serving in the House of Representatives, was elected as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in a 119-107 vote of the party’s congressional caucus on Friday (4 December), after a close battle with California’s Tony Cardenas.
The new role places Maloney at the heart of the body working to elect Democrats to Congress, giving him a significant role in the party’s infrastructure.
Maloney was New York’s first ever openly gay congressman in 2013, and as a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus he has been at the core of battles for equality in the chamber for years.
Sean Patrick Maloney vows to help unite Democrats
In a statement, Maloney said: “There is so much on the line for American families right now. As we work to recover and rebuild from this pandemic, it will be essential that we have strong leaders in Congress who will fight for the health and success of every American.
“In partnership with the Biden administration, the Democratic Party will fight for the people, strengthening our communities from coast to coast.
“A strong Democratic majority in 2022 will be essential to our fight. I will work every day to improve our campaign operations, connect with voters across lines of difference, protect our incumbents, and expand our majority.”
The ranks of out House lawmakers will grow from seven to nine in January as fellow New Yorkers Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones are elected.
Gay congressman’s victory is an ‘important milestone’, campaigners say
Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David said: “Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s election as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is an important milestone for LGBTQ people and another example of a Democratic caucus leadership team that reflects the diversity of our country.
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“With Congressman Maloney in leadership, LGBTQ people across the country will have a seat at the table and a strong advocate to fight for us and make progress on key issues of equality.
“Maloney’s historic election will encourage more LGBTQ candidates to run for congress, including and especially underrepresented members of our community, including queer candidates of colour, so we can achieve full representation of our diverse community.”
Annise Parker of LGBTQ Victory Fund said: “There is enormous power in Congressional Democrats choosing an out gay man to serve as chair, especially after an election cycle where anti-LGBTQ attacks on candidates became the norm.
“Sean believes running diverse candidates makes the Democratic party more competitive and will prioritise ensuring they build on their majority with candidates that reflect the demographics of America.
“In 2020, the National Republican Campaign Committee operationalised anti-LGBTQ rhetoric to a new level.
“He will be a chair who forcefully stands behind candidates who face anti-LGBTQ, racist or sexist attacks and will refuse to allow those tactics to succeed. We are thrilled Democrats in Congress elected Sean and we know they made the right choice.”