Jay Stamper on Civil Rights
Several days after my announcement, a state party official summoned me to his office. To my disbelief he tried to persuade me to drop out of the race. I said no thanks.
Apparently, certain well-connected "party elders" believe that my candidacy is a distraction that will only hurt Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen by highlighting his opposition to marriage equality and women's reproductive rights.
Now, my campaign is meeting resistance from the last place I expected: from within the state party establishment. I'm proud to be a Democrat. But the party is more than just a handful of well-connected insiders sitting in an office building. It's you, it's me, it's millions of "ordinary" people across the country who believe in equal rights and equal opportunity for all. I'm not going to back down.
I fundamentally believe marriage equality is not a minor issue to be minimized, ignored or treated as a political inconvenience. It is a civil rights issue affecting millions of people who are our neighbors, friends and family.
The US Constitution requires equal protection under the law: rights given to one group by law should not be denied another. In my view then, it's simple: gay couples must not be denied the right to marry.
Beyond our constitutionally guaranteed rights, I believe that we have a moral obligation to treat every human being with respect--even if he or she is different. I won't be silent or hide behind political rhetoric on the issue of marriage equality and civil rights. Stand with me if you won't either.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate races 2017-8:
AL: Strange(R) ; no opponent yet
AZ: Flake(R) vs. Ward(R)
CA: Feinstein(D) vs. Eisen(D) vs. Sanchez?(D) vs. Garcetti?(D)
CT: Murphy(D) ; no opponent yet
DE: Carper(D) vs. Biden?(D) vs. Markell?(D)
FL: Nelson(D) vs. DeSantis(R) vs. Jolly(R) vs. Lopez-Cantera(R)
HI: Hirono(D) ; no opponent yet
IN: Donnelly(D) vs. Hurt(R)
MA: Warren(D) vs. Ayyadurai(R)
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ME: King(I) vs. LePage?(R)
MI: Stabenow(D) vs. Bouchard?(R)
MN: Klobuchar(D) vs. Paulsen?(R)
MO: McCaskill(D) vs. Kinder?(R)
MS: Wicker(R) vs. McDaniel?(R)
MT: Tester(D) vs. Racicot?(R)
ND: Heitkamp(D) vs. Becker?(R)
NE: Fischer(R) ; no opponent yet
NJ: Menendez(D) vs. Chiesa(R) vs. Codey?(D) vs. Chiesa?(R)
NM: Heinrich(D) vs. Sanchez(R)
NV: Heller(R) vs. Sandoval?(R)
NY: Gillibrand(D) vs. Kennedy?(D)
OH: Brown(D) vs. Mandel(R)
PA: Casey(D) vs. Saccone(R)
RI: Whitehouse(D) ; no opponent yet
TN: Corker(R) vs. Crim(I)
TX: Cruz(R) vs. Bush?(R)
UT: Hatch(R) vs. McMullin?(R) vs. Romney?(R)
VT: Sanders(I) vs. Giordano(D)
VA: Kaine(D) vs. Cuccinelli?(R) vs. Fiorina?(R)
WA: Cantwell(D) ; no opponent yet
WV: Manchin(D) vs. Raese(R) vs. Goodwin?(R)
WI: Baldwin(D) vs. Grothman?(R) vs. Gallagher?(R)
WY: Barrasso(R) ; no opponent yet
Senate Votes (analysis)