A Democratic lawmaker who opposed equal marriage has been defeated in Delaware’s primary elections by an openly gay candidate and drag queen.
Earl Jaques Jr had criticised his opponent, 44-year-old Eric Morrison, for holding a campaign fundraiser where he performed as the drag queen Anita Mann, prior to Tuesday’s vote.
Mr Jaques, who was elected to Delaware’s House of Representatives in 2009 but lost out to the progressive newcomer this week, had described Mr Morrison’s fundraiser as “so far off base”.
“That is so far off-base for our district, it’s unbelievable,” he told The News Journal last year. “You wonder what the point is. You can have fundraisers, I don’t care about that. But dressing in drag? Really?”
“I don’t think those churches would endorse that”, added Mr Jaques, who voted against same sex marriage in 2013. “I’m just saying, it’s a little different, that’s for sure.”
Mr Morrison claimed 61.13 per cent of the vote in house district 27’s Democatic primary, compared to Mr Jaques’ 38.87 per cent.
Mr Morrison had previously attacked his rival’s voting record on LGBTQ issues.
“My opponent claims to be a ‘Democratic moderate’,” he wrote on Sunday,
“But I say that no real Democrat votes against a woman’s right to choose, LGBT equality, banning the barbaric practice of LGBT ‘conversion therapy,’ environmental protections, and preserving vital programs for seniors.”
Mr Morrison, who will now appear as the Democratic candidate on ballots in Novemeber, could become the first openly gay candidate elected to Delaware’s General Assembly.
In a Facebook post, Mr Morrison thanked his supporters, adding that “This isn’t over! Before we know it, the general election will be here on November 3”.