In the crowded field of District 1 contenders lining up to succeed Mary Alice Cisneros on the City Council, each candidate can make a case that they’re the most proven.
IT entrepreneur Chris Forbrich can say he proved his vote-getting ability by giving Cisneros a surprisingly serious challenge in 2009; Tobin Hill neighborhood leader Carolyn Kelley can cite her business connections and her stint on the city’s Zoning Commission; attorney-musician Diego Bernal can point to the civil-rights credentials he established at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and his ties to the downtown arts scene; and former firefighter Ralph Medina is already touting his 35 years of community activism.
Forbrich and Kelley got the jump on the other two candidates by launching their campaigns last year, and Forbrich has already shown that he can’t match Kelley’s fundraising prowess. A possible game changer, however, could be in the offing for him. Forbrich, who is gay, recently applied with the Washington, D.C-based Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund for their endorsement. The organization not only provides financial support to candidates it endorses, it helps them build their organizations and shape their campaign messages.
The Victory Fund played a huge role in Annise Parker’s 2009 election as Houston mayor and is credited by former San Antonio council member Elena Guajardo, the only openly gay elected official in San Antonio history, with helping her pull off a victory in 2005.