Patrick Guerriero to lead Log Cabin Republicans
Former mayor, legislator and lieutenant governor candidate to replace Rich Tafel
Patrick Guerriero, a former Massachusetts mayor and state lawmaker, will become the new leader of Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest and most influential gay Republican organization. Guerriero will replace Rich Tafel, who served as executive director for over a decade. Guerriero also will serve as president of Liberty Education Forum, a non-partisan research and education think tank.
Bob Stears, chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans board of directors, announced the selection today. "We are thrilled that Patrick Guerriero will lead our organization. This is a fantastic time to be a Log Cabin Republican, and Patrick Guerriero is the visionary leader we need for the future. His track record as an elected official demonstrates that he can build coalitions, lead people, and manage an organization."
Stears added, "Replacing Rich Tafel was a daunting task, but we believe with Patrick's outstanding credentials we have succeeded in finding the right leader."
Robert Kabel, chairman of the board of directors of Liberty Education Forum and former chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans board, said, "Liberty Education Forum is delighted to name Patrick as president. He has an inclusive and centrist approach that wins. Patrick brings people together and gets results."
Patrick Guerriero said, "The November elections reinforced my belief that we need a thoughtful two-party strategy if we want to advance civil rights and equal opportunity for all Americans in the year ahead. Log Cabin Republicans will play an important role for all who care about the advancement of personal freedom, personal responsibility, civil rights and equal opportunity in our nation. I believe the Republican Party must continue to grow as a party of inclusion to represent the interest of many people on a number of important issues." Guerriero assumes his new roles on January 1st.
Guerriero gained national recognition in January when Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift tapped him as her running mate for lieutenant governor-the first openly gay person asked by an incumbent governor in American history. Swift later withdrew from the race in order to support the eventual winner, Republican Mitt Romney, and Guerriero actively campaigned for Romney and currently serves on the governor-elect's transition team.
Guerriero served as a political confidant to three of the most gay-friendly governors in America, Republican Massachusetts Governors Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift. Guerriero is a former three-term state representative and two-term mayor of his hometown, Melrose, Massachusetts. He worked as a top adviser to Swift when she chose him as her running mate.
"During my 10 years in public service, I have always believed the Republican Party must move away from issues that divide people and move toward its core issues that unite people. The Republican Party stands for a free market, a strong national defense, and-as the party of Lincoln-for individual liberty and equal rights for all citizens. By concentrating on those issues, the party can continue to grow and succeed in leading our nation," Guerriero said.
Guerriero is a well-respected politician in Massachusetts who won praise for his leadership. He never lost an election, and as one of the nation's youngest mayors when first elected at age 29, he went on to win re-election with more than 80 percent of the vote.
In 1998, Guerriero received the Fenn Award for Political Leadership from the John F. Kennedy Library for his work as a state representative to strengthen local government, and under his leadership as mayor, the city of Melrose received the City Livability Award from the 2000 U.S. Conference of Mayors. The award recognized Guerriero's "Civility Initiative," a program that encouraged city residents to show more respect and kindness to fellow residents.
As a state representative and mayor, Guerriero earned a reputation as a faithful advocate for gay and lesbian issues. He fought for and won tough anti-hate crimes legislation, helped increase AIDS funding and advocated for extending domestic partnership benefits.
"President George W. Bush leads our nation with compassion. Likewise, Log Cabin Republicans will lead our community with compassion, integrity and purpose. We will work with our president to build a more inclusive nation," Guerriero said. "One of my first priorities will be to reach out immediately to all gay and lesbian groups to work together to achieve our shared, common goals. Rather than fighting among ourselves, we can better serve our community by putting our shared priorities ahead of partisan bickering. Log Cabin Republicans will be committed to represent all gay Americans and work to assure freedom, equality and justice across our nation. Log Cabin Republicans and LEF will work to make certain that tolerance and inclusion are a permanent part of the political landscape."
Mark Mead will continue to serve as Log Cabin Republicans' director of public affairs, the position to which he was named earlier this year. Mead's career includes several political positions at the Republican National Committee, including deputy regional political director. He also served on Log Cabin Republicans' board of directors for six years.
Rich Tafel said, "I'm thrilled with the choice of Patrick and Mark as the new team to carry Log Cabin Republicans forward. I've long admired Patrick for his work in elective and appointed office. His experience in politics and contacts here in Washington will offer fresh leadership for Log Cabin Republicans and take this organization to the next level. Mark's experience with the RNC combined with his year here in the office will provide for strengthened contacts within the party and a seamless transition."
Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) said, "Patrick Guerriero brings a wealth of political experience to Log Cabin Republicans. The organization has become a major force in national Republican politics in recent years, and I am confident that with Patrick's vision and management skills it will play an increasingly important role in our party's future."
Liberty Education Forum is a registered 501(c)3 think tank dedicated to new ideas and new directions for the gay community, with a centrist approach. LEF works toward achieving individual freedom and fairness for gay Americans by applying the principles of individual rights, individual responsibilities, free markets and limited government.