BREAKING: Gay Republican To Run Against Sen McAdams

Posted By on September 1, 2010

SLC, UT – BREAKING NEWS. The time limit expired last night on Ben McAdams’ Republican opponent Nancy Davis to file her disclosures and she was forced out of the race. In these unlikely circumstances, the Republican Party is allowed to nominate their own candidate to automatically run without going through the delegate system. You won’t believe who they picked.

melvin nimer, disctrict 2, gay, senate

Melvin Nimer

Of all people… Melvin Nimer, the President of the Utah Log Cabin Republicans and board member of the Utah Pride Center.

Mel has built a reputation as a hard-core conservative in this state, but also as someone who has tried to build bridges with current elected Republicans like Governor Herbert and slowly persuade them to support LGBT rights.

“The Party called me at 10am this morning,” says Nimer, “after accepting their nomination I had to have all my paperwork submitted by early this afternoon to make it official.” So why Mel? Why would the Utah Republicans nominate a gay man? “Well I think it’s precisely because I’m gay,” said Nimer, “we’ve made a lot of inroads over the years with the party and helped them get many important people elected and this may be the Party’s way of slowly moving [onto the side of equality].”

For his part, Ben McAdams told PRIDEinUtah that although he still fully intends to keep the Senate chair he took over from Scott McCoy, he’s glad to see the Republicans putting out a gay candidate. “I think that both through my election and Mel’s nomination, we’ve signified that LGBT issues are much more mainstream then many in Utah would believe” he says.

But the fight is on.

McAdams stated that “I’m still the best person in the Senate working on LGBT issues, I have the track record through both last year’s session and the SLC non-discrimination ordinances that I can get the job done.” At the same time, Nimer says that he could do it better, “I’d be as fierce of an LGBT advocate in the Senate as Ben or Scott [McCoy] ever were. There’s a big difference between LGBT issues and other aspects of conservatism.”

Equality Utah’s endorsement period ended months ago, and they’re endorsing Ben McAdams. “Ben is an extraordinary Senator, and we stand behind him” says Executive Director Brandie Balken. Equality Utah’s endorsement policy states they cannot endorse two candidates for one race. This means there isn’t a chance for Mel Nimer to receive an official endorsement from the biggest name in Utah LGBT politics.

And of course, the LGBT community at large tends to swing heavily democratic. Will this hurt Nimer’s chances? “I don’t know if the LGBT community will support me, but I don’t think I’ll get much resistance,” he says.

District 2 has a long proud history of constantly voting for the democrats, but Mel hopes to change that. “There’s a lot of registered republicans who don’t vote, so we’ll have to see what we can do.”

Personally, I think this is a simple way for the Republican Party to throw Mel Nimer and the Utah Log Cabin Republicans under the bus. With 2 months until the election, and with all of the qualified candidates they could have picked from, the Repub’s decided to throw the gay head of a gay political group into a race against the biggest ally the State has in the Senate? With virtually no time to raise funds or to get a campaign off the ground..

Sounds very….. Republican to me.

For The Record: PRIDEinUtah has and continues to strongly support and endorse Senator Ben McAdams.

Copy of Nimer’s Declaration to run:

Nimer Declaration

About The Author

Eric Ethington
Eric Ethington has been specializing in political messaging, communications strategy, and public relations for more than a decade. Originally hailing from Salt Lake City, he now works in Boston for a social justice think tank. Eric’s writing, advocacy work, and research have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Public Eye magazine. He’s worked as a radio host, pundit, blogger, activist and electoral campaign strategist. Follow him on Twitter @EricEthington


10 Responses to “BREAKING: Gay Republican To Run Against Sen McAdams”

  1. Justan says:

    Holy shit. I support Ben all the way as well. From the day I met you and other activists at the silent sit-in, where Ben displayed gratitude and support for our community, he has had my support.
    This is rather interesting, however.

  2. JMBell says:

    That’s so … typically dipshit.

  3. [...] This post was Twitted by lisanharrison [...]

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  5. Brianne Blanchard says:

    One of my strongest remaining prejudices is against queer republicans. Can someone help me not be disgusted by them?

  6. Michael M. Walton says:

    I’d like to know what his views are? how is he radically conservative? inquiring minds want to know. While I don’t agree with the Log Cabil club, I admire them for going against the grain and showing that Gay people aren’t all the same. There is of course the unifying factor, and for the most part most Homos are on the same page about many things, but we don’t all have to agree on everything. And while it’s very easy to fall into the trap of, ” He’s on the opposing team, he’s therefore the enemy, therefore I hate him.” This attitude in political discourse is poisonousw, it’s part of what I hate people like NOM and Jerry Fallwell for. They think that because they know we’re gay, they know enough, we’re the enemy. We’re out to destroy civilation. Not too nuanced is it?

    The fact that the Utah Republican Party nominated an openly gay man is amazing no matter how you slice it. We’re talking about the reddest of red states here kids.

    I can’t wait to hear more about this one. I even smell a documentary.

  7. Mike Walton says:

    Here’s his statement for the Log Cabin Republicans, pretty moderate over all I say…

  8. [...] by a deadline. If you do not, you are disqualified and the state party can pick a new candidate. (Pride in Utah) The time limit expired last night on Ben McAdams’ Republican opponent Nancy Davis to file her [...]

  9. JayH says:

    I believe Mr. Nimer is correct that he and Ben McAdams both represent gay and lesbian concerns adequately. I do not, however, see anything about the bisexual, transgender, transsexual, or queer members of the community. Furthermore, my major disagreement with any Republican candidate – whether straight or gay – are the overemphasis free-market economics to a degree reminiscent of Ayn Rand’s ‘ethical egoism’ (i.e., what’s good for the individual is all that counts; i.e., “screw everyone else”).

  10. Edward Bass…

    PRIDE in Utah » BREAKING: Gay Republican To Run Against Sen McAdams…

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