RALEIGH, NC — The Equality NC Action Fund PAC has pulled its endorsement of Democratic Raleigh mayoral candidate Charles Francis, due to revelations of anti-LGBTQ ties and donations.
It announced on Monday that it would instead solely endorse the unaffiliated candidate in the race, incumbent Mayor Nancy McFarlane.
Equality NC had originally endorsed both Francis and McFarlane in the Nov. 7 runoff election, after both answered a questionnaire that signaled support for the LGBTQ community.
“Leading up to and following the October 10 election, we received a number of concerns from our supporters about the time Mr. Francis spent campaigning for an anti-LGBTQ candidate, former Senator and gubernatorial candidate Fred Smith,” Equality NC said in a statement. “Further research has led us to be concerned by the number and amount of Mr. Francis’ anti-LGBTQ donors, his time spent campaigning for a prominent sponsors of Amendment One, his donation to pro-HB2 and anti Affordable Care Act state senator George Holding, and his courting of the Wake County GOP leadership that was instrumental in pushing HB2 in North Carolina.”
Amendment One defined marriage as only between one woman and one man in the state constitution, which passed in 2012 and that was nullified when the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality two years later.
HB2 was the anti-LGBTQ law passed in response to Charlotte’s LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance. Its replacement, HB142, is still in place and prevents progress until at least 2020.
“Equality NC Action Fund is proud to endorse Mayor Nancy McFarlane in her re-election for Mayor of Raleigh,” said Matt Hirschy, Interim Executive Director of Equality NC. “A proven ally – Mayor McFarlane spoke out against the deeply discriminatory HB2 and used it as an opportunity to address transgender-specific issues in Raleigh. Furthermore, Mayor McFarlane has a strong connection to the LGBTQ community in Raleigh and was awarded for her work by the LGBT Center of Raleigh with the 2017 Ally of the Year Award. Her long record on LGBTQ issues and her strong leadership in moving Raleigh forward and inclusive for all, make Mayor McFarlane the clear choice for voters.”