Lesbian PAC Unveils First Midterm Election Endorsements

In this photo taken on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, Laura Ricketts listens to her brother Tom  talk about their family taking con
In this photo taken on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, Laura Ricketts listens to her brother Tom talk about their family taking control of the Chicago Cubs baseball cub during an interview with The Associated Press in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

LPAC, the country's only lesbian-backed political action committee, announced its first round of endorsements for this election cycle, as well as a significant leadership change.

The PAC, which works to elect "pro-lesbian, pro-women candidates," said Thursday that it would initially back 14 candidates for both federal and statewide offices. In addition, Laura Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, was named the PAC's new board chair.

“I am humbled and excited to take the reins as we continue to give lesbians a seat at the political table, and as we work hard to elect a new slate of LPAC candidates," Ricketts said in a press release.

The PAC explained that its endorsement criteria consist of three elements: "Ending discriminatory treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families," "protecting access to reproductive freedom and quality healthcare," and "advancing social, racial, and economic justice for all Americans."

Ricketts, the first openly gay woman to own a major league baseball franchise, serves as a member of the Democratic National Committeeʼs executive committee. She also sits on the board of directors of EMILY's List, an advocacy group that is dedicated to electing Democratic women to office.

“My hope is that we will inspire more lesbians to get politically engaged,” Ricketts told The Washington Post. “For too long, lesbian women have been left out of politics. Our goal is to give lesbians a real and meaningful voice in politics and then to influence the political landscape.”

LPAC's list of endorsed candidates shares many names in common with those EMILY's List has endorsed. Each of the PAC's newly endorsed women is either a "recommended" or "on the list" EMILY's List candidate. There are no Republicans on the PAC's slate of candidates, though Ricketts has said she wouldn't rule out endorsing a Republican, were they to support the PAC's values.

Among LPAC's candidates are three men: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in November, congressional candidate Sean Eldridge, who is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and openly gay gubernatorial candidate Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine).

The PAC's endorsed candidates:

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.);
Congressional candidate Sean Eldridge (D-N.Y. 19th District);
Congressional candidate Gwen Graham (D-Fla. 2nd District);
Congressional candidate Amanda Renteria (D-Calif. 21st District);
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D);
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D);
Gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Texas);
Gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine);
Gubernatorial candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D);
Gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke (D-Wis.);
Gubernatorial candidate, state Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Md.);
Lieutenant Governor candidate, state Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D-Nev.);
Secretary of State candidate, state Sen. Nina Turner (D-Ohio);
Attorney General candidate Maura Healey (D-Mass.)



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