LAHR PAC releases candidate ratings
Ratings give a glimpse into how city office candidates view LGBT, women’s health rights
BY SAM INGLOT
Friday, July 12 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and At-Large City Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar have received the highest rating in this year’s primary election races from the political action committee of Lansing’s gay rights organization.
LAHR PAC, an offshoot of the Lansing Association for Human Rights, rated both of them as “extremely positive.”
LAHR President Penny Gardner said the ranking is for candidates who have “demonstrated publicly or taken an action” supporting LGBT equality or women’s health rights.
She pointed to Dunbar’s “shepherding” the city’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in 2006 as a reason for receiving an “extremely positive” rating.
Dunbar received a higher rating than Ted O’Dell, an openly gay candidate in the same Aug. 6 primary race. O’Dell was rated “very positive.”
“The two people who received the extremely positive rating have a voting record with the city on LAHR issues, and so I understand that,” O’Dell said. “I hope when I’m running for reelection in the city in the future I too will qualify for the extremely positive.”
On the end is “extremely negative,” which she said is reserved for someone who has “absolutely stated that people in the LGBT community are not equals” to heterosexuals, Gardner said.
Only at-large candidate Keith Smith was rated “very negative.”
“He or she would not be looking to get a rating higher other than negative if they fall in that category,” she said.
LAHR-PAC did not rate candidates in the 2nd Ward race since both will advance to the General Election. Nor did they rank Lansing City Clerk, Chris Swope, who is unopposed. Swope is openly gay.
LAHR PAC candidate rankings
Virg Bernero (Incumbent) — Extremely Positive
John Boise — Ignored Questionnaire
Gene Gutierrez-Rodriguez — Ignored Questionnaire
Donald Krepps — Ignored Questionnaire
Harold Leeman Jr. — Very Positive
City Council At-Large
Kathie Dunbar (Incumbent) — Extremely Positive
Brian Jeffries (Incumbent) — Very Positive
Judy Brown Clarke — Very Positive
Ted O’Dell — Very Positive
Jonathon Smith — Ignored Questionnaire
Keith Smith — Very Negative
City Council 4th Ward
Jessica Yorko (Incumbent) — Very Positive
Chong-Anna Canfora — Positive
Bert Carrier Jr. — Mixed
Larry Hutchinson — Ignored Questionnaire