GOP Senate nominees sought support of extreme anti-gay group
Two Republican Senate nominees sought and received the support of an anti-LGBT group that links homosexuality to pedophilia and defends conversion therapy.
North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer and Virginia’s Corey Stewart, who both won the Republican nomination in their respective states on Tuesday, filled out a “Senate Candidate Survey” for the group Public Advocate of the United States.
The survey asks eight questions about a candidate’s positions on LGBT issues, including whether a candidate would “oppose all efforts to make public restrooms and changing-rooms unsafe through so-called ‘Transgender Bathrooms’ legislation and regulations – which have the effect of encouraging and protecting pedophiles.”
Another question asks if the candidate agrees that public schools should be “prevented from brainwashing elementary school children with the Homosexual Agenda – such as California’s current policy speculating widely about the sexual activity of past presidents and figures?”
Cramer and Stewart answered yes to both questions. Both nominees also indicated support for overturning Supreme Court rulings legalizing same-sex marriage, requiring schools to teach there are only two genders and allowing Christian business owners to refuse to participate in same-sex weddings without fear of legal reprisal.
The surveys bear each nominee’s signature. Public Advocate of the United States scores 100% any candidate who fills out the survey and answers yes to all questions. The group’s founder and chief executive, Eugene Delgaudio, said in February he believes that former President Barack Obama was a “child molester” and that “adult homosexuals want to recruit and brainwash children.” He is an active promoter of the far-right pizzagate conspiracy theory.
The group has been running Google ads in support of Cramer, who is currently in his third term as North Dakota’s lone member in the US House. Delgaudio told CNN in an email exchange that he would not disclose other efforts the group has made online to support Cramer.
Tim Rasmussen, a spokesman for Cramer, said the congressman doesn’t believe transgender people are comparable to pedophiles and that he opposed history curriculum that emphasized a particular group.
“Let’s be clear. Congressman Cramer doesn’t support the teaching of history with any special emphasis on any particular group,” Rasmussen wrote to CNN in an email. “History is history and should be taught as such. Additionally, Kevin does not think transgender people are at all comparable to pedophiles -this a gross misinterpretation of the survey question.”
A representative for Stewart, the chairman at-large of the board of supervisors of Prince William County, did not return a request for comment.
In May, Delgaudio did an event with Stewart where he said he was backing his Senate campaign. Stewart said of Delgaudio, “I love this guy” and “there’s nobody I respect more” than Delgaudio.
While Cramer’s bid against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is considered by both parties to be a competitive race for November, Stewart’s effort against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine is not.
On Wednesday, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters, “Well look, we have a big map. Right now we are focused on Florida, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana. Big map. I don’t see Virginia in it.”
Update: This story has been updated with Stewart’s comments about Delgaudio last month.