Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Victory Fund sends out 1st fundraising appeal for SF mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty

The national Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund sent out its first fundraising appeal today (Thursday, May 26) on behalf of Bevan Dufty in the San Francisco mayor’s race.

A former supervisor who represented the gay Castro district at City Hall, the openly gay Dufty is the only out candidate, so far, among the leading contenders in the mayoral campaign. Should he be elected, he would be San Francisco’s first gay mayor.

He earned the LGBT fund’s backing earlier this year when he ended a self-imposed restriction on accepting donations from non-residents.

And what is shaping up to be a common theme in this year’s fight for Room 200 at City Hall, Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe couched the appeal for donations in language connecting Dufty to the legacy of the late gay Supervisor Harvey Milk. The city’s first out elected official – Milk won his race in 1977 – also represented the city’s then emerging gayborhood.

“Last Sunday was Harvey Milk Day. We celebrated not only a legendary leader’s birthday, but also his immense impact on the fight for LGBT equality. It was an opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves to the things Harvey stood for: honesty about ourselves always; service to others; and an unwavering commitment to speaking truth to power,” wrote Wolfe in the email to Victory Fund donors.

He added that “Harvey’s tenacity and commitment inspired Bevan Dufty to stand up and serve two terms on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the same district that Harvey did in the late 1970’s. Bevan has always been committed to carrying on Harvey’s work and taking it to new heights, and now he’s out to become the first openly LGBT mayor of San Francisco.”

A number of candidates and their supporters have been linking their mayoral pursuit to the legacy of Milk, whose stature as not only a gay rights hero but civil rights leader has continued to grow since his untimely murder in November of 1978. Be it in endorsements from people with ties to Milk or incorporating his famous lines in speeches, a connection to Milk’s memory has become a coveted commodity in the wide-open mayor’s race.

In his appeal on behalf of Dufty, Wolfe doesn’t mince words about tying the two gay politicians together.

“Harvey famously said ‘you’ve got to elect gay people,’ so that young LGBT people across America realize there’s hope for a life where they can live authentically and still succeed. ‘You’ve got to give ’em hope,’ he said,” wrote Wolfe. “That’s why we’re proud to endorse Bevan’s campaign, and that’s why we’re asking you to join us in supporting him.”

Wolfe goes on to write in the emailed appeal, “Keep Harvey’s legacy alive and help Bevan win.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, May 26, 2011 @ 2:11 pm PST
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