DENVER, Colo. – Linda Ketner, the Demnocratic Party nominee for Congress from South Carolina’s First Congressional District, received star treatment in Denver during the Democratic National Convention.
Picture right: Ketner speaks at the LGBT Caucus meeting on Aug. 27. Photo Credit: Ian Palmquist.
On Wednesday, August 27, she spoke to the South Carolina delegation breakfast meeting at the Raddison Hotel. It was clear she was among friends. Most of the participants in the 63-member delegation were already familiar with her congressional bid. Linda’s challenge to incumbent Republican Rep. Henry Brown in the district that stretches along the Palmetto State coast is considered one of the most critical races in the state.
For the first time in his four-term congressional career, Brown is facing a well financed and widely supported Democratic challenger. Linda, whose father founded the Food Lion grocery chain, is known throughout her district for her financial generosity and passionate personal commitment to a wide range of progressive causes. As a result, both the South Carolina Democratic Party and Charleston’s Democratic Mayor Joe Riley, are eagerly supporting her campaign. That support was obvious when she addressed Wednesday morning’s caucus meeting.
Linda, who is also a proud member of the South Carolina LGBT community, spoke at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus of the Democratic National Convention later that same day. The 375 LGBT Delegates and Alternate Delegates at this year’s convention gave her a warm and enthusiastic reception. Her years of activism in the LGBT cause are well known to leaders of the movement throughout the country. For example, a decade ago she helped to found Charleston’s Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), one of the most effective and respected LGBT political organizations in the South.
Now, as one of several LGBT congressional candidates in the nation, Linda could well make history this November. Both the South Carolina Democratic Party and the SC Stonewall Democrats are working hard to build on the tremendous support for presidential candidate Barack Obama throughout the state. His presidential coatails combined with Linda’s well-financed (she has already raised over one million dollars in contributions) and professional campaign could indeed combine to make Linda Ketner the second openly lesbian member of the United States House of Representatives.
Tom Chorlton is an openly gay adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. He was one of two LGBT Delegates pledged to Hillary Clinton who served as a member of the South Carolina Delegation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo., August 25-28.