Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Former GOP House Candidate Marries Gay Partner

Massachusetts Republican Richard Tisei married his longtime partner earlier this month in the aftermath of losing one of the closest congressional races in the country — and probably just a few months before he begins another House campaign.

In 2012, Tisei came oh-so-close to defeating Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney in Massachusetts’ 6th District. In a race that many Democrats thought was a lost cause by Election Day, the incumbent won 48 percent to 47 percent — a margin of less than 1,000 votes.

Tierney was buoyed by a strong top of the ticket that included President Barack Obama and now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And Democratic attempts to tie the GOP nominee to tea party conservatives in the House were effective enough. Here’s an example of one anti-Tisei spot along those lines from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

Future efforts to force Tisei into the extremist box may not resonate quite as well next year.

For now, Tisei is actively exploring a rematch but taking some personal time after running for Congress and lieutenant governor in back-to-back elections.

“I’m leaving my calendar open for the next 16 months,” Tisei told Boston Globe reporter and Roll Call alumnus Joshua Miller.

Miller went on to explain Tisei’s current thinking:

Tisei … said in a telephone interview there were three questions that he was mulling as he moved toward a decision, which he expected to make by summer’s end.

The first was whether he could offer more effective representation for the district. The second was if he could help strengthen the Massachusetts delegation’s “clout in Congress,” where the US House of Representatives is currently controlled by the GOP. And the third was whether he thought he could help “change the poisonous atmosphere” in Washington, D.C.

“If I feel like I can check off all three of those boxes, I’d be very inclined” to make a run, he said.

Even though Tisei hasn’t publicly declared his intentions, most Republican strategists expect him to run and would be very disappointed if he didn’t. Without Tisei, Republicans have virtually no chance at winning the seat. With him, it could be one of the best GOP takeover opportunities in the country.

Tierney narrowly won in a good Democratic year in 2012. He faces a primary challenge next year that could take up some time and resources. And the House Ethics Committee revealed July 26 that Tierney is one of four members under review for alleged misconduct.

Massachusetts’ 6th District is rated Lean Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

For a party that is routinely criticized for being too closed-minded, Republicans would love to promote Tisei and Carl DeMaio, the openly gay former San Diego city councilman, as top House recruits throughout the cycle.

  • ajr86

    Gross! In Massachusetts, even Republicans are far left. I hope he never reaches congress or any other supporter of gay marriage. That would blur the lines as to what a Republican should be.

    • nhshoals

      So to you the only way you judge someone is by who they marry? How shallow and frankly stupid. Furthermore do not state that a Republican should be judged by their standing on this issue.

      A Republican was among the very first to denounce this train of thought. “Stay out of my wallet and stay out of my bedroom” – Barry Goldwater. Does he pass muster for a Republican? Stop being a neanderthatl and realize that your thinking has cost the Republicans elections.

      • jmm

        We don’t need any more gays or lesbians in Congress we have enough.

        • Vanbren5

          Why should you care what they do in the bedroom. Its doesn’t concern you.

          • jmm

            I must have struck a nerve with you gay caalaro’s.

    • jmm

      Look at Barney Franks! I wonder if his wife Bill will get his benefits also?

      • Vanbren5

        Why should you care?

      • Vanbren5

        Get a job. Do something meaningful with your life. It won’t bother you so much.

        • jmm

          I’m retired! What’s your job working in a male brothel!

  • Bob Jones

    How wonderful! Everyone deserves to be happy, as long as they are not hurting anyone else by doing so.

    • Mikey

      True, but now we’ll have even more people “entitled” to benefits they really aren’t entitled to. Another reason SS is going Bankrupt.

    • jmm

      Even if it spreads aids. Is that ok?

      • Bob Jones

        Marrying someone provides incentives to limit their sexual partners, thus it reduces the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases rather than increasing them. I don’t think that it’s good to spread disease so that’s why I support this man’s marriage to his partner.

        • jmm

          Have you ever watched the money Philadelphia with Tom Hanks? If you really believe what you are saying your sicker than I thought. Why don’t you just marry your brother. Keep it in the family more or less.

          • Bob Jones

            How does a fictional movie have anything to do with your point? If you want my source, feel free to ask instead of using the appeal to ridicule logical fallacy. Here’s my citiaon to a non-fictional scientifically backed study: h t t p :// cnsnews (dot) com (slash) node (slash) 680130 . I’m not sure if this specific website likes links so I broke it up for you to put it back together.

            If you have any objective nonfiction sources that use the scientific method that demonstrate why legalizing gay marriage will lead to an increase of sexually transmitted diseases I’d be more than happy to read it, just give me a link in your reply.

            Additionally, incestuous marriage is already legal. One can marry their cousin in 19 different states. Source: h t t p :// w w w(dot)ncsl(dot)org(slash)issues-research(slash)human-services(slash)state-laws-regarding-marriages-between-first-cousi.aspx

  • RKE

    NIce hook with “gay partner”..story has nothing to do with that and I am left wonder if Tisei is gay or just the partner.

    • nhshoals

      Huh? So he would marry a gay partner and he may not be gay? That is rather fractured logic.

  • Carlos.Danger

    Good on Tisei……too bad he lost.

  • Richard Vandiamondsworth

    It’s taxachusetts. Those rubes are too far gone to save. What do you expect from the land of manslaughterer teddy kennedy and a 22 billion dollar 3.5 mile tunnel?

    • Vanbren5


  • jmm

    I though all the gays in Congress were from New Jersey!

    • Vanbren5

      …and you were wrong! So, give it up and go back to your cave.

      • jmm

        You mean you have some in your state also? No wonder this country is going to hell in a hand bag. We have one less though Barney Franks has retired.

        • Vanbren5

          Why does it bother you?

  • nhshoals

    OK, to set the record straight. The daughter running for office in Wyoming is not gay. That is another daughter.
    When you anti gay people decide to stop losing because of these stands then let the rest of us know. You are not going to change sexual orientation with out of touch policies. If you don’t want liberals, then vote for Republicans who are more in line with what you believe. Do not stay at home because you can’t have your way one issue. Better part of the cake than nothing.

    • jmm

      You just go on thinking that way. Stay in your little world and try to make everyone think your correct in you belief. I’m glad I don’t have to explain to my maker when I crook, Like you will have to. It’s all about the money. You want everything that all husband and wife enjoy. You want to have free medical from you spouses insurance. Your the minority and want the majority to pay for it. I bet you mom and dad are very proud of you and your boy friend. I’m sure they will be disappointed they won’t have any grand kids. But maybe they are better off! At least they won’t have to live in a screwed up world. It’s people like you that are bring this country down but you don’t care. Be careful out there because there are a lot of gay bashers that would love to meet you.

      • nhshoals

        First of all you make the idiotic statement that anyone disagreeing with you is gay. Not true. I have been married almost forty years.
        You should stop trying to push your warped views on everyone else. You are as far from Christian as I have read on this forum.
        You probably don want to hear this, but your ideas are stupid and your grammatical structure and spelling need a lot of work. Spend a little time on self improvement and you may be able to make some sense.
        Gay bashers, nice try. They would probably have a field day with a pansy like you.
        BTW you are retired? From what? You seem to be working full time at complete and utter stupidity.

        How much education do you have? Your educational pedigree must be a thing to see.

        • jmm

          Opinions are like assholes everyone has one even you.

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