Openly gay state Senator Richard Tisei
will be on the Massachusetts GOP gubernatorial ticket as Charles D.
Baker Jr.'s running mate, the Boston Globe reported.
Republicans overwhelmingly picked the
pair at their state convention Saturday.
Baker trounced his opponent Christy
Mihos with 89 percent of the delegate votes, denying Mihos the 15
percent share needed to qualify for the September primary ballot.
“We have a job to do and that job
starts today,” Baker told the crowd. “It's time to take our
state back from the Beacon Hill insiders, the status quo-ers and
nonreformers, and give the people of Massachusetts the government
they deserve – affordable, accountable and responsive.”
Baker will face Democratic Governor
Deval Patrick and state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who is running
as an Independent, in the fall.
Patrick is a gay rights ally who
supports gay marriage and transgender rights.
Baker, who supports gay marriage, has
already drawn criticism from social conservatives. At the
convention, they decried Tisei's co-sponsorship of a transgender
protections bill being considered by lawmakers. The bill would
protect transgender people in the areas of housing, employment and
public accommodations. Passage of the bill has been elusive for
supporters, who have floated similar measures since 2007.
Opponents warn that the bill would
invite sex offenders to lurk in public restrooms, endangering the
safety of women and children.
The Baker campaign issued a statement
saying that he does not support the bill, dubbed the “bathroom
bill” by opponents.
“I think they're trying to scare
people into opposing the bill and I don't think it's really an
issue,” Tisei told his local paper last summer. “I know it's
been dubbed the 'bathroom bill,' but this is really a bill to treat
people equally and fairly under the law.”
Tisei, 47, is among the three openly
gay Republican candidates endorsed so far this year by the Gay
& Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that promotes openly gay