North Dakota’s Secretary of State’s race has been an interesting one— to say the least. For the most part, everyone expected that incumbent Al Jaeger would coast through the NDGOP State Convention for the party’s endorsement back in April. But then he was challenged by Will Gardner, who ended up shocking Jaeger and his supporters by handily winning the delegate vote. Then a decade-old peeping incident surfaced and Gardner formally withdrew his nomination after winning the June primary. This left the door open for incumbent Al Jaeger to toss his hat back into the ring as an Independent candidate— which he did. The NDGOP even changed their rules in order to give him a Letter of Support. Then retired Air Force veteran and former Republican Lt. Governor candidate Michael Coachman joined the race when he submitted his signatures before the deadline. I wrote yesterday about North Dakota Democrats and their creative effort to campaign for Coachman lately in hopes of splitting the Republican vote— a move he condemned on social media today.
Yes, the race has indeed been unlike anything I recall seeing in North Dakota politics. Hoping to capitalize on the woes befallen the NDGOP and Al Jaeger is the Democratic-NPL’s candidate Joshua Boschee. For the most part, Boschee has done a pretty good job in terms of campaigning. He’s been all over the state doing what he can to raise his name recognition and take his vision to the people of what he brings to the Secretary of State’s office. There’s even an increasing amount of speculation that incumbent Al Jaeger may be in trouble.
There’s one reference to Boschee’s candidacy that I believe should have no bearing on whether he’s qualified for the office— his sexual orientation. In case you weren’t aware, Boschee became the state’s first openly gay legislator when he was elected to the North Dakota State House in 2012. That year he was the top vote getter in District 44 with 26.2% of the vote— just 322 votes separated him from the 4th place finisher.
Whether as a member of the North Dakota State House or a candidate for Secretary of State, there’s plenty of issues to debate when it comes to Joshua Boschee. His sexual orientation shouldn’t have to be one of them. Yet, in the news section of his own campaign site, Boschee includes an article titled, “Victory Fund Endorses 35 More LGBTQ Candidates“— of which Boschee is one. According to the Victory Fund website, their mission is to:
“… change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government.”
To quote from the aforementioned article, Victory Fund is “the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office”. I understand wanting to be accepted — like Boschee spoke about at a State Historical Society event in 2013 — but why should being gay be the qualifier for political office anymore than it should be the disqualifier? To me, it shouldn’t. But apparently the Victory Fund disagrees.
And they’re seemingly not the only ones. While searching for a recent interview with Boschee, I stumbled upon this video. It features “10 LGBTQ Political Candidates You Need to Know” and Boschee is one of them. Now, if you’re like me, you have no idea who Hornet is. But a little research and their website tells us they’re “the world’s premier gay social network”. And look at the paragraph below their video:
“There’s an election coming up, and it’s damn important — the biggest opportunity to resist the anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-equality agenda of the conservative right wing since Republicans rampaged into office in 2016.
“In November we’ll have an opportunity to hopefully send as many of these LGBT candidates into office as possible. Whether you’re in their district or not, here are 10 LGBT candidates you need to know about.”
Yes, apparently those voters responsible for a Republican majority in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate — together with a Donald Trump presidency — are part of a “conservative right wing” agenda that is “anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, [and] anti-equality”. I’d remind Hornet and Rep. Boschee that the overwhelming majority of North Dakotans that he’s asking to vote for him were part of that rampage into office.
When I consider the candidacy of Joshua Boschee for Secretary of State, his sexual orientation isn’t a factor for me. It’s too bad that’s not the case for Boschee and some of those who support him.
If you’re interested in issues relating to the Secretary of State’s office, then you may find Chris Berg’s recent interview with Boschee informative. You’ll find it below:
ND Sec of State candidate Josh Boschee talks about ND Voter ID law, Spirit Lake Tribe lawsuit, ND Democrat Party shenanigans, and more.
Posted by POVnow on Wednesday, October 31, 2018