OH-5: Brown (R) Acknowledges Sexuality, Drops Out of Race
Hat-tip to Jerid at BSB for this item:
Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown (R) has told the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune over the weekend that he has decided to drop his plans to enter the 5th Ohio Congressional District race after anonymous commenters on various Ohio blogs (including this one) outed him as a homosexual:
Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown said Friday evening that he decided to not run for the seat previously held by Paul Gillmor after viewing comments posted on Columbus-based Web sites targeting Brown’s sexual orientation. One such blog asks if Northwest Ohioans are ready to have a gay congressman.In the article, Brown acknowledges that he is gay and makes some comments that the GOP base does not like to hear:
“Potential adversaries who look at life in a different manner have decided to attack me on a personal basis,” Brown said. “These things should have no place in the political process.”
[L]ate Thursday night, a Republican colleague told Brown of the anonymous blog attacks. It was then that Brown realized raising adequate funds would be impossible. It was also then that he decided to publicly talk about his sexual orientation.It is very telling that Brown's sexual orientation was not an issue in his campaigns for county commissioner, but arrived as a preemptive strike before he could even enter the Congressional race. Something tells me that this episode may well set the tone for the contest, and if so it is going to be ugly.
“This is how I was born,” he said. “This is an orientation.”
Brown realizes that some people will view him as a “gay commissioner,” instead of a “commissioner who happens to be gay.”
In some ways, the decision to openly discuss his orientation came as a relief, Brown said, since he has wondered in the past how political adversaries might use it against him.
“I am comfortable with my orientation and have the full support of my family and friends,” he said. “It is not a secret, it is a personal matter to me and I intend to keep it that way.”
Brown emphasized that his sexual orientation in no way diminishes his effectiveness as county commissioner.