Neil Rafferty, an openly gay US veteran, is running for public office in Alabama.
The former Marine made the announcement on Facebook Sunday (11 February) evening.
He explained a friend asked if he was interested in running for the vacant seat in Alabama State House District 54. Democrat Patricia Todd, who held the seat for 12 years, decided last month not to seek reelection.
District 54 represents several neighborhoods in the state’s most populous city, Birmingham.
Nine days ago, I was approached by a dear friend who asked if I would consider running to fill the vacant seat for…
‘On Friday, I traveled to Montgomery to complete qualifying paperwork to run,’ Rafferty wrote. ‘I look forward to expanding my lifetime of service as I announce my candidacy for State House of Representatives District 54. We are better together. Let’s get to work!’
Todd, who was the state’s first openly gay elected official, expressed her support for Rafferty on Twitter.
Go Neil! Let's continue to move Alabama forward! I did not know Neil until last week and I so impressed. https://t.co/5u3F9P1umU
— Patricia Todd (@reptodd) February 13, 2018
One of many
Rafferty is one of many LGBTQ candidates running for office in this year’s US midterm elections.
Midterm elections take place on 6 Novemner.
And like many others, he has his own inspiring story propelling him forward.
Rafferty joined the Marines after his boyfriend of 13 years, Michael Rudulph, deployed.
Rudolph remembered his second time coming home from a tour in Iraq. He told Rafferty: ‘I wake up, and my head is in your lap. I’m trembling and you’re rubbing my head and you’re telling me, “You’re safe, I’m here.” You were my comfort, you were my rock.’
Then Rafferty decided he didn’t want Rudolph to be alone next time.