IL Lawyer Hoping to Become 1st Out Gay US Senator
An openly gay Chicago lawyer has announced his candidacy for the US Senate seat currently held by Roland Burris – and formerly held by President Obama. It’s also the seat that former Governor Rod Blagojevich allegedly attempted to “sell.” Jacob Meister says that’s why he wants that seat.
Meister says a lot of people who would have been great candidates have decided NOT to seek the seat, because of the Blagojevich scandal. As a result, Meister says only one of the announced candidates has ever held elected office, and that candidate is a 32 year-old in his first term as state treasurer.
He says despite the baggage – the seat also comes with a long and storied history, which he hopes to add to.
Meister: “I think it’s a seat of firsts. I mean, it’s the seat that was held by Carol Mosely Braun, who as you know was the first black female, it was held by Barack Obama who moved on to become the President, and I think it’s a seat that is right for the first openly gay Senator.”
Meister says he thinks his sexual orientation will be an asset in the campaign – rather than something to overcome.
Meister: “In a four-way race, the LGBT community in Illinois becomes a very potent constituency, that can really shape the race. And the numbers and statistics prove it.”
Meister says he hopes the national LGBT community will support his campaign the way they did his predecessor, Barack Obama.