The next U.S. Congress could see its first openly-gay Republican in a same-sex marriage. Richard Tisei appears to be eyeing a rematch against Rep. John Tierney in the sixth district of Massachusetts. In what should be a strong year for Republicans, the race would be competitive. Some Republican leaders are hoping his candidacy will demonstrate the Party's open-mindedness.
Tisei is giving running again "a lot of serious thought and serious consideration," he told the Boston Globe.
Three considerations will influence his decision to run, he said: whether he can represent the district better than Tierney, whether he can provide more "clout" for the district given that Republicans control Congress, and whether he can "change the poisonous atmosphere" in Congress.
"If I feel like I can check off all three of those boxes," he remarked, "I'd be very inclined."
In an article for The Rothenberg Political Report, political analyst Nathan Gonzales believes Tisei would have a strong chance of winning for three reasons: he lost by less than 5,000 vote in 2012, which was a strong year for Democrats; Tierney will have to expend resources to win his primary, which already has two announced challengers; and, Tierney is currently being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for alleged misconduct.
Massachusetts was the first state, in 2004, to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Tisei married his partner, Bernard F. Starr, earlier this month. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) became the first congressman in a same-sex marriage when he married his partner last year before his retirement.
Top-level Republicans would love for Tisei to run, Gonzales reports, because he represents the Party's only chance to win that district. Plus, Party leaders hope to promote Tisei, along with Carl DeMaio, a gay Republican running for Congress in San Diego, to demonstrate the Party's open-mindedness.