Out gay San Francisco mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty today received the endorsement of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. The national group, which works to elect qualified open LGBT candidates, is expected to make the formal announcement Sunday, March 20 at its 20th anniversary brunch in Washington, D.C.
Dufty, 56, a former supervisor, had been seeking the high-profile national LGBT group’s backing in his race for mayor. He recently abandoned his self-imposed donation policy of accepting funds only from people who live or work in the city. The change – Dufty now accepts the maximum $500 per donor – means he can accept money nationally, including donations from Victory Fund members.
Dufty (pictured at right) was pleased with organization’s decision.
“I’m really appreciative of them making an early endorsement,” Dufty told the Bay Area Reporter from D.C.
[Updated: Victory Fund spokesman Denis Dison said the group was proud to endorse Dufty.
"About 30 cities in the country have LGBT mayors," Dison said. "San Francisco is long overdue for one."
Dison said Dufty is an "extremely viable" candidate. "Obviously he knows the city like the back of his hand," he added.
For his part, Dufty said the Victory Fund has given him invaluable training; he recently attended the group's candidate sessions in Las Vegas.
"The Victory Fund has been singularly important in giving me a new direction with my campaign," he said.]
In recent years, the Victory Fund has endorsed early in big-city mayoral contests. The group’s support was seen as key in the election two years ago of out lesbian Annise Parker as mayor of Houston. The Victory Fund has already endorsed Parker in her re-election race this November.
In the wide-open race to be San Francisco mayor, Dufty is so far the only out gay candidate. The filing deadline for the race is in August. This year the city will use rank choice voting in the mayor’s race.
The B.A.R. will have more on Dufty’s endorsement in Thursday’s edition.