Thursday, February 09, 2006

Gay Democrat To Oppose Carson For Re-election

A gay Democrat is filing papers with the Secretary of State to oppose the re-election of Rep. Julia Carson for the 7th congressional district. Kris Kiser, a former aide to former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D) and a former D.C. lobbyist, is preparing his first run for elective office. WISH-TV reporter Jim Shella shares his reaction to Kiser's candidacy on his blog:

Kris Kiser is a candidate for Congress in the 7th District who will get some notice. Kiser is challenging incumbent Julia Carson in the Democratic primary and he is openly gay. He is no Bobby Hidalgo, however. Kiser is a lawyer and former aide to Congressman Lee Hamilton who gave up his job as a Washington lobbyist to move home and challenge Carson. He says he knows he has an uphill battle but intends to run a positive race. He is planning a formal campaign kickoff for next week.

Until a year ago, Kiser was living and working in Washington, D.C. He spent 13 years working as a lobbyist for two large trade groups for the automotive and paper industries after leaving his job as a Hill staffer according to his website. Kiser and his partner, Daryl Johnson, returned to Indianapolis a little more than a year ago, where the two of them are engaged in renovating real estate.

According to his website, he supports health care coverage for every American, champion advanced education or training for every resident who seeks it, believes in lowering the tax burden for low and middle income Hoosiers and not just the rich and for the equal treatment of every citizen, regardless of color, sexual orientation or economic condition with compassion, fairness and inclusion.

Kiser's candidacy is not likely to be met with much enthusiasm from 7th District Democrats, who believe having Carson on the ticket helps bolster voter turnout in the district's African-American community. While much speculation has been made about Carson's failing health, she shows no sign of giving up her seat. And when she does, African-American Democrats in the district fully expect that the party will select another African-American to take her place. There are in fact several such candidates waiting in the wings.

As an openly gay candidate, Kiser is pretty much a mystery to Indianapolis' GLBT community. His candidacy will come as a surprise to that community as it does to others. Carson has been steadfast in her support of gay rights. Last year, she took Democratic city-county counselors who voted against the HRO to the woodshed at a meeting with them. Three of them, Ron Gibson, Patrice Abdullah and Steve Talley, eventually switched their votes in support of the HRO, thereby ensuring its passage. Her role in helping that happen has not been lost on Indianapolis' GLBT community.

Kiser may just be getting warmed up with a first bid in hopes of building name recognition for a later bid when Carson retires. His decision, however, to oppose the Grandmother of the Marion Co. Democrats, will do little to endear himself to party regulars.


Marti said...

And that is the problem with the Democrat Party... they don't like challengers... which is dumb. I live in State Rep Larry Buell's district and the supposed big tent doesn't stretch to anyone that isn't already an established candidate... which essentially drains any new blood from the party.

I'll support both, but I'll vote for Julia.

Anonymous said...

The above previous comment regarding Troy Liggett, which cites Mr. Liggett as THE reason for the Democrats' failure last election, reminds me of the racist rhetoric of the 1960s, which was motivated by a hatred of emerging groups and by a fear of true political equality. Only now, in this previous commenter's mind, it's a hatred of the emerging power of the gay community in the US.

This kind of thinking, the kind that feeds on hate and ignorance, that can only be responded to with its antithesis: we need wisdom, clarity of vision, and a committeed consideration of the evidence that can explain why the Democrats were under fire last election. What we don't need is a homophobic, gay-bashing, commenter like the one previous to mine who cites the most ridiculous, in fact ludicrous reason why the Democrats lost the majority.

The type of mindset evident in this response about Troy Liggett is no doubt typical of misguided and unworldly (i.e., ignorant) people who think that politics is about finding one random, unrelated reason for a political party's failure. I'm sure that Hoosier voters--the ones who can think for themselves and pay attention to politics in general--would find this comment about Troy Liggett incredibly offensive and, unfortunately, terrifying--not to mention, as I've already have--ignorant and unsubstantiated (which is what terrifies me). My advice to the the previous commenter--if you can't post a comment with your name, you have no honor and no true backbone: perhaps this is why a political party dies...not enough of its members share these qualities of integrity and citizenship of standing behind one's comments with anonymity.

With confidence in my words and ideas,

Anonymous said...

My apologies for some typos in my previous message--I type radidly when I'm angry about having to take the time to respond to ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Sad but tru....Indiana's house was one of only four chambers to switch from Democratic to Republican in last election.... Democrats picked up something like 10, 11 chambers... including both chambers each in Montana and Colorado... we got stuck with Bosma... lucky us :-p ...thank god for Jeffers.... at least he's not a drunk ...........