NJ Assembly candidate Don Guardian scores Victory Fund endorsement

Former Atlantic City Republican mayor Don Guardian
LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed Former Atlantic City Republican mayor Don Guardian who’s running to become NJ’s only LGBT Assembly member

If elected, Guardian will be the only LGBT elected representative in the legislature

Former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian has snagged an important and valuable national endorsement in a very competitive race for the New Jersey General Assembly. The LGBTQ Victory Fund has endorsed Guardian who’s running to become New Jersey’s only LGBT Assembly member.

See more: InsiderNJ’s interview with Don Guardian.

A nationwide non-partisan organization, LGBTQ Victory Fund is tasked with increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government while ensuring they reflect the diversity of those they serve.

Despite it’s liberal reputation and lots of talk about diversity, New Jersey’s actual track record is pretty much abysmal.

“Currently there are zero out LGBTQ state legislators serving in New Jersey—one of just five states in the entire nation lacking that representation,” Elliot Imse, VP of Communications for LGBTQ Victory Fund told InsiderNJ. “We are proud to endorse Don because we know he is ready and able to change that and we urge LGBTQ voters in the state to rally behind him by volunteering and contributing what they can. Our community can make a key difference in this race and finally return an LGBTQ voice to the New Jersey state legislature.”

Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality, echoed much of the sentiment while emphasizing Mr. Guardian’s credibility. “We have zero representation from the LGBTQ+ community in the New Jersey legislature and the Victory Fund is doing exactly what we all need to do—huddle around LGBTQ candidates and help them get elected. Guardian is a qualified candidate, with a track record, and we must all help him win in November.”

As a moderate republican who also happens to be gay, Don Guardian is among the most intriguing figures in New Jersey politics. His ability to convince a majority of Atlantic City voters to chose a white, republican to be their mayor means he knows more than most about bridging racial—and ethnic divides.

Seventeen towns make up New Jersey’s 2nd legislative district including Egg Harbor Township, Pleasantville, and Atlantic City.

The other town in the Atlantic County-based district are Absecon, Brigantine, Buena Borough, Buena Vista Township Egg Harbor City, Folsom Borough, Hamilton Township, Linwood, Longport Borough, Margate City, Mullica Township, Northfield, Somers Point City and Ventnor City.

See more: InsiderNJ’s interview with Don Guardian.

Jay Lassiter is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose invitation to Governor Murphy’s LGBTQ pride reception got lost in the mail.