Most political hacks knew Senator Gallardo is gay. If it was a secret, it was only a secret to his constituents. His recent move to come out at a news conference is simply a cynical publicity stunt to generate buzz for his congressional run……
On the flip side of the cynical coin…..
State Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, disclosed he is gay at a news conference Wednesday, saying the furor over Senate Bill 1062 prompted his decision to go public. Gallardo said he was not bullied into making his announcement and that his decision to talk publicly about his sexual orientation had nothing to with his political future.
Gallardo, a two-term senator, last week announced he will run for the Democratic nomination for the District 7 seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz. He is one of three announced candidates.
Gallardo, the Senate’s minority whip, has been an outspoken critic of the GOP majority at the Capitol, but has not made gay rights a signature issue. His efforts have focused on overturning SB 1070, speaking up for immigrant rights.
He was elected to the Senate in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. Previously, he served three terms in the House of Representatives.
Amid the uproar over Senate Bill 1062, many of the bill’s critics directed their anger at an influential political figure most Arizonans had never heard of before last week: Cathi Herrod.
Without winning a vote, Herrod has for two decades powered the state’s social-conservative movement, pushing her agenda in the halls of the Capitol, at the ballot box, and always away from the spotlight.
That was until last week, when Arizonans outside the political realm took notice of the woman whom admirers and foes alike refer to as Arizona’s 31st senator.
As president of the Center for Arizona Policy, Herrod leads the conservative Christian organization that wrote the bill that rained down criticism on the state as a place hostile to gays and lesbians drawing threats of an economic backlash from corporations, pro-sports leagues and conventions.
Herrod quickly became the public face of SB 1062.
The Center for Arizona Policy over the past 20 years has grown from a small organization to one that collected $1.7 million in donations in 2011, according to the latest available tax documents.