A gay Republican is running for the U.S. Senate.
38-year-old Michael Deel is a corporate analyst and political columnist from Fort Smith, Arkansas. And now, Deel has announced his opposition to U.S. Senator John Boozman’s attempt at re-election in 2022, according to the Southwest Times Record. Deel will be his opponent during the 2022 Republican primary. If elected, Michael Deel would be the first openly gay Republican U.S. senator.
In his campaign announcement, Deel said that he wants to “restore the Republican party to the party of Lincoln, back the party of equality and compassion.”
And as he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Deel sees himself as a Republican, “but on social issues, I lean left.”
“I want to protect everyone,” he added. “I want to help everyone. But I will not go with this rhetoric about the election being stolen. I won’t stand for it.”
“I believe that all Arkansans should be treated equally and given a fair opportunity to seek the American dream,” Deel then said. “I think the government’s default position should be to stay out of our lives, and if we put petty partisanship aside and ignore the culture wars, we could solve actual problems facing our state and nation.”
Deel also expressed that his main opposition to incumbent Jon Boozman is that Bozzman claims to be an advocate for small government, but has supported legislation ostracizing Arkansas’s citizens.
“Early on in his career, he co-introduced legislation to prohibit gay marriage,” said Deel. “He attempted to define it in the Constitution. He proved to be soft on law and order by voting against a bill that would more strongly penalize people who attacked someone based on sexual orientation. He even voted against an anti-discrimination measure that affected members of the military.”
“But Sen. Boozman has not just been hostile to the LGBTQ+ community,” Deel continued. “He voted against ratifying an agreement that would protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities the year before he vocally opposed reauthorizing the ‘Violence Against Women Act.'”
The general election for the U.S. Senate seat isn’t just a two-man race, however. Heath Loftis and Jan Morgan also announced plans to run in the Republican primary. In addition, Dan Whitfield and Jack Foster have announced plans to run in the Democratic primary. Will Michael Deel’s 3 key campaign messages of Equality, Unity, and Sound Governance help him rise above the rest? If you ask Deel, he’d have you believe so. After all, his main goal is restoring the honor and integrity within the Republican Party.
“My vision is simple: Restoration,” he told Ballotpedia. “I’ve realized that what the people of this wonderful state need is not more hollow words and political promises. They’ve become far too numb and disheartened by the many years of detached leadership that left them feeling invisible, unheard, and uncared for. I want to restore their faith in our political process. I want to restore the soul of the Republican party itself by embodying the original values, the values that created this great nation, and I want to restore the relationship between our leadership and our community members and show them what great change we can create by working together.”