Democratic North Carolina State Rep. Marcus Brandon has made history and formed the "committee for a congressional bid to seek Congressman Mel Watt's 12th District seat," reports the Charlotte News Observer. Brandon would become the nation's first Black openly LGBT member of Congress if he were elected.
Watt is President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Housing Finance Administration. If confirmed, a Democratic frenzy is expected in the race to replace him. A campaign treasurer for Brandon, a High Point political consultant, filed papers May 1, the day the president announced Watt's appointment, to create the Marcus Brandon for Congress political committee, the first step needed to raise money for a potential bid.
Brandon also makes history as the "first openly gay or lesbian North Carolinian in a major political party to announce his candidacy for the U.S. House," reports Matt Coner at QNotes.
Brandon, the state’s only openly gay or lesbian legislator, joins what may be a crowded Democratic primary. ... Brandon was first elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2010. He’s been an advocate for charter schools and education reform. In 2011, Brandon came to the center of debate when state lawmakers considered and later approved an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment. The measure won approval from voters 61-39 percent on May 8, 2012.
Brandon has represented Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem in the state legislature since 2011. He is the only openly LGBT member of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Marcus Brandon is also one of only six Black openly LGBT state legislators. The others include Kelvin Atkinson and Patricia Spearman in Nevada, Georgia's Simone Bell and Keisha Waites, as well as Mary Washington of Maryland.
In related news: President Obama has nominated rising political star Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the Transportation Secretary. Foxx would replace Ray LaHood, whose performance has been criticized in recent weeks due to air traffic delays.
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