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.”
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.