Could the Senate be getting its first openly gay man in office?
42-year-old Daniel Baer has announced his interest in running for U.S. Senate. If elected, he would become the first openly gay male Senator in U.S. history.
Congress has had nine LGBTQ Representatives since the 1970s starting with Gerry Studds and most recently with Mark Takano in 2012. As for the Senate, there have only been two LGBTQ members to join their ranks. Tammy Baldwin became the first open lesbian in the U.S. Senate in 2012 and was later joined by Kyrsten Sinema, who is openly bisexual, in 2018. But, the Senate has yet to have an openly gay man join the ranks of these celebrated few. Baer is hoping to become the first.
Baer announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Colorado on Tuesday, April 16, and made sure to mention his husband Brian Walsh.
“Like many of you, Brian and I are dismayed by the chaos unfolding in Washington under this president,” Baer said. “But we’ve also realized that the best way to find hope and optimism is by putting ourselves on the line, taking risks for the values we believe in, and fighting for the country we want.”
But Baer’s sexuality is only a fraction of his being. Baer has a political career that heightens his credibility way beyond his possible record-breaking appointment.
Daniel Baer was a foreign policy expert who worked in the Obama administration, according to the Washington Blade. Baer is also one of seven openly gay ambassadors who worked for the Obama administration. At the time, Baer was the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and was charged with deescalating tensions during the Ukraine crisis of 2014.
Baer has also worked as the deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor under Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state. Baer also worked on international LGBTQ issues such as adding LGBTQ human rights abuses in the State Department’s annual human rights report. Then most recently, Baer has served as the head of Colorado’s Department of Higher Education.
According to the Colorado Sun, this will be the second time that Baer has run for office. Baer briefly ran for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District seat in 2018 but withdrew after U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the Democratic incumbent, decided to run for another term instead of retiring.
This second attempt at a political office will be just as challenging as Daniel Baer is a relative unknown in the Congressional campaign world. In addition, the fight to unseat Republican Cory Gardner, the incumbent for the position, will cost millions of dollars.
But, this upcoming election is expected to be one of the most watched in all of 2020’s contests, so this event will already be a great step in Daniel Baer’s career.