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San Diego could be nation’s largest city to elect gay Republican mayor

Bonnie Dumanis (left) and Carl DeMaio

Bonnie Dumanis (left) and Carl DeMaio

SAN DIEGO — San Diego could become the nation’s largest to elect an openly gay Republican mayor.

Two of the leading GOP contenders in the race for are openly gay, and voters have barely noticed, reported the Associated Press.

Bonnie Dumanis (left) and Carl DeMaio

In fact, the subject doesn’t come up at campaign appearances or in local news coverage.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and City Councilman Carl DeMaio haven’t made their marks as gay rights activists, which may help explain why their sexual orientation has been a non-issue even among social conservatives. Neither makes a secret of being gay, but they don’t draw attention to it, either.

San Diego, which has had Republican mayors since 1992, could easily become the nation’s largest city to ever choose an openly gay GOP leader, said Donald Haider-Markel, a Kansas University political science professor who published a book last year on gays in public office. Gay Republicans have historically been hindered by lack of support from party leaders and financial backers.

Associated Press, via CBS News

San Diego has elected a Republican as Mayor in every election since 1992.

The current mayor, Jerry Sanders, who is being forced out by term limits, captured national attention when he testified in the Proposition 8 legal challenge in January 2010 that he supports gay marriage, and said his views evolved after learning one of his daughters was a lesbian who wanted to marry her partner.

According to Victory Fund, there are only about 20 openly gay Republican elected officials nationwide. The San Diego election is in June 2012.

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