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Pro-gay GOP candidate taking on Santorum


How does it feel, Rick? Featherman jumping into the Senate race may make him spew more inane comments about homos.

I hope C-SPAN carries the debates in this race with Senator Man-on-Dog!

A pro-gay Philadelphia real-estate broker says he plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) in the 2006 Republican primary.

Santorum has been one of the most outspoken supporters of a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In June a coalition of LGBT rights groups announced the formation of a new organization designed to defeat Santorum.


It also emerged this summer that Robert Traynham, the senator’s chief of staff and communications director, is gay [and self-loathing]. Santorum has a long history of homophobia. In 2003 following the Supreme Court ruling striking down sodomy laws Santorum compared homosexuality with incest, polygamy and adultery.

A challenge to Santorum within his own party came as a surprise to many in the GOP. John Featherman, 41, who supports abortion rights, gay marriage and a flat tax, said he wants to offer moderate Republicans an alternative to the conservative Santorum, a two-term incumbent.

I’m running for the nomination fully aware of the odds,” Featherman said. “I believe Santorum needs a challenge.” As the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 2000, Featherman got just under 48,000 votes in a race against Santorum, Democrat Ron Klink and two other candidates. Featherman also ran unsuccessfully for Congress in a special election in 1998.

“I commend anybody willing to put their name on the ballot, but we are not finding any weakness in support in the party for Rick Santorum,” said John Brabender, a media consultant to Santorum’s campaign.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding