Rich Madaleno is an openly gay candidate for Maryland governor has made history by airing the first political TV campaign ad featuring a same-sex kiss.
The theme of the ad is “Take that, Trump” which focuses on the actions Madaleno has taken in his General Assembly career that would offend Donald Trump. It portrays him not just as an opponent of the president, but the most effective anti-Trump candidate in the race.
“I’m running for governor to deliver progressive results and to stand up to Donald Trump,” Madaleno says in his ad. “Here are a few of the things that I’ve done that already infuriate him.”
Madaleno goes on to list ways he has opposed Trump’s agenda as a state senator in Maryland, capping the 30-second ad by asking viewers about his number one way of angering Trump and Republicans, before kissing his husband, Mark Hodge, on the lips while sitting on their front lawn.
He then says: “Take that, Trump!”
Rich Madaleno would be the state’s first openly gay governor. He was the state’s first openly gay member of the General Assembly and fought to legalise same-sex marriage in the state.
The openly gay former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, president of the LGBT Victory Fund, said the ad is a sign of changing times.
“I kissed my spouse on stage at my inauguration as mayor,” she said. “But I don’t think I would have put it in a campaign eight years ago.”
Parker said it’s important that gay candidates be able to present themselves in family situations just as straight politicians have long done.
“This is going to be an increasingly common sight,” she said.
The Madaleno campaign was hoping that Trump himself would view the kiss when he turned on Fox News.
“We wanted to make sure the president had an opportunity to see this ad and went with the network he tunes into,” campaign manager Keith Presley said.
Madaleno is one of several candidates competing in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s gubernatorial race. According to a recent poll in the Washington Post, he is in fourth place with 6 percent of voters’ support. Democrat Ben Jealous is favourite with 21 per cent of the vote.