The Advocate has a story today on the withdrawal of Harold Ford Jr’s from the New York Senate Race. Political insiders say it was a feisty group of LGBT activists whose organized push made Ford rethink a possible run.
Ford addressed the role gay activists played in ending his could-be candidacy Tuesday evening after an event cosponsored by Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century and Young Professionals for Change in New York City. The meeting was a holdover invitation from the time between January and March when he contemplated a primary challenge against U.S. senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I think people are entitled to their opinions, but they’re also entitled to be wrong, and I think they’re wrong,” said Ford, in response to a question about whether the outcry from LGBT activists factored into his decision not to pursue a senate bid.
During the time he considered a candidacy, Ford came under fire from women’s groups, labor unions, and LGBT activists, a key coalition in Democratic primaries dominated by more liberal downstate New York voters. Gay activists in particular objected to Ford’s two votes for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006, coupled with accusations from Memphis gay activists that he promised them he would vote against the measure. As a potential senate candidate in 2010, Ford said he had “evolved” to support marriage equality.
Ford goes on to say he didn’t really understand what the fuss was about at the Stonewall meeting. He didn’t rule out running again in the future, citing that politics was and has always been a big part of his life.
Read the whole thing at the Advocate.