How Dan Savage became an election issue in a Congressional race

How Dan Savage became an election issue in a Congressional race

Dan Savage is no stranger to politics. After all, this is the man who humiliated former Senator Rick Santorum by using his name to describe a byproduct of anal sex. But in what is a first, the relationship and sex advice columnist has become an issue in a Congressional election.

Savage is caught in the crossfire between Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Democratic challenger Sean Casten. The fight started when Casten told the Wall Street Journal that Savage is someone that he admires.

That sent Roskam into orbit. At a candidates’ debate, the incumbent slammed Casten for having anything nice to say about Savage. “He bound himself to some people who were advocating political blackmail and political slander,” Roskam said of Casten. “And I think he should distance himself from these people.”

Roskam cited some of Savage’s more outrageous statements, including saying that he wished that all Republicans were dead. (Savage later apologized for that comment.) To his credit, Casten was having none of Roskam’s faux-outrage.

Related: Dan Savage’s take down of Log Cabin Republicans is epic

“The person I embraced… is Dan Savage, who has been a voice for the LGBT community and particularly for the It Gets Better Project of teens who were considering suicide,” Casten said. “Mr. Roskam has been a horrible advocate for that community, and maybe he doesn’t like that I support them, but I do.”

If Roskam seems to be flailing, it’s because he’s stands a fair chance of losing his seat. His suburban district is seen as one of the Democrats’ best pick-up opportunities. As a steady supporter of President Trump (except on trade), Roskam has done himself no favors with a lot of his constituents. Nor has he done a good job of satisfying his conservative base, which are angry that he doesn’t hold town hall meetings.

Csaten is a political novice who has been unapologetic in his support for progressive issues, including expanding health care and protecting immigrants who came to the country illegally as children. He’s obviously hitting the right notes; the district is now considered leaning Democratic instead of just a toss up.

Savage, of course, has the best and last word.

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