Openly gay lawmaker makes historic first
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — State Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford) has formally announced his decision to run for North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District. Brandon filed paperwork to form his campaign committee on May 1. The committee’s formation was made public this week.
Brandon, the state’s only openly gay or lesbian legislator, joins what may be a crowded Democratic primary. Charlotte Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Graham is also running for the seat. State Rep. Alma Adams (D-Guilford) is also interested in running.
Brandon was first elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2010. He’s been an advocate for charter schools and education reform. In 2011, Brandon came to the center of debate when state lawmakers considered and later approved an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment. The measure won approval from voters 61-39 percent on May 8, 2012.
The 12th Congressional District snakes its way from Winston-Salem and Greensboro, through Salisbury and Concord and into Charlotte. The seat has been held by Rep. Mel Watt since 1993. On May 1, Watt was nominated by President Barack Obama to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Brandon is the first openly gay or lesbian North Carolinian in a major political party to announce his candidacy for the U.S. House.