Opponent Matt Mowers Focuses on Pappas’ Boyfriend in Debate; On Twitter
Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to public office, condemned Matt Mowers for continuously using a homophobic dog whistle to attack his opponent U.S. Representative Chris Pappas – the first openly gay person elected to Congress from New Hampshire. Mowers first launched a baseless attack during a debate last night, falsely claiming Pappas’ boyfriend influenced his votes for legislation in Congress. In a post-debate interview, Mowers claimed he does not “care who the congressman dates,” but since then tweeted and retweeted about Pappas’ boyfriend and the false accusations multiple times.
Opponents of LGBTQ candidates frequently focus on the dating lives and partners of LGBTQ candidates to emphasize their sexual orientation.
The dog whistle and false accusation against Pappas came just hours after health care advocates held a press conference showing Mowers is a consultant for at least two big pharma companies and that he filed an illegible financial disclosure form in an attempt to hide it from New Hampshire voters, prompting a complaint to the U.S. House Ethics Committee. A number of his other clients remain unidentified, despite bipartisan calls for Mowers to come clean about who pays him. The attack on Pappas appears to be a reaction to this press conference.
“Matt Mowers proudly accepted Donald Trump’s endorsement and now he is proudly following the Trump political playbook as well – using lies and dog whistles to distract voters from the issues that matter,” said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Matt knew he wanted voters to focus on Chris’ sexual orientation and his absurd accusation during the debate was a desperate attempt to do just that. With all the issues and challenges facing New Hampshire and our country – Matt is using the final days of the campaign to talk about and tweet about the dating life of his out gay opponent. His politics of distraction and division – without regard for the truth – is a Trumpian tactic Matt learned well while part of the Trump administration.”
Pappas is just the latest openly LGBTQ candidate to be attacked using dog whistles and blatant homophobia during this election cycle. The National Republican Campaign Committee – which is the national fundraising arm for Congressional Republicans – has launched homophobic and transphobic TV ads against LGBTQ candidates and has encouraged opponents and outside groups to use anti-LGBTQ tactics to derail their campaigns.
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.