State Rep. Marcus Brandon, a Democrat from High Point, has been endorsed by a national gay-rights organization in his bid to replace U.S. Rep. Mel Watt in Congress.
Brandon received the nod from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund in the campaign for the 12th Congressional District. Watt is leaving the seat to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Brandon would be the first African-American member of Congress who is openly gay, and the first LGBT candidate for Congress from a Southern state. The organization’s endorsement includes the promise of national fundraising support.
“This is a very exciting development for my campaign,” Brandon is quoted as saying in a news release sent out Wednesday, “and it adds significantly to the momentum that has been steadily building over the last several months. This endorsement has the opportunity to provide a welcome level of national exposure.”
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Brandon is one of six Democrats so far expected to run in the primary for the 12th district, which stretches from Greensboro to Charlotte.
Watt’s replacement will be chosen in a special election.