Updated: Jan. 12, 2009, 12:30 p.m.
Gala co-chair Michael Holmes told Q-Notes on Friday that the dinner committee was awaiting comment from Hagan’s offices.
Today, Hagan Press Secretary David Hoffman told Q-Notes, “Senator Hagan said repeatedly during her campaign for Senate that, if elected, she would reach out to folks across the state. Sen. Hagan looks forward to speaking at HRC’s event and updating attendees about the work she and her colleagues are doing to help shore up the economy, advocate on behalf of working families and get our country back on track.”
Hagan’s 2008 campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Elizabeth Dole drew national attention. During the Democratic primary, Hagan ran against openly gay, Chapel Hill businessman Jim Neal. Some LGBT activists criticized the Human Rights Campaign for their refusal to endorse Neal during the primary battle. The national organization later endorsed Hagan in her race against Dole.
Holmes said the dinner committee had already received emails addressing concern over Hagan’s appearances. Holmes said the senator’s willingness to speak at the dinner so soon after her swearing in was a positive sign.
Hagan, who was sworn into office on Jan. 6, sits in the Senate seat once held by arch-conservative Republican Sen. Jesse Helms.
The HRC Carolinas Gala is one of the largest HRC-affiliated dinner fundraisers in the nation and was named a “Winter Posh Happening” by OUT Traveler magazine.
The HRC Carolinas Gala will be held Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Stay tuned to Q-Notes Online for more on this story.