Meet Steve Pougnet, candidate for Congress from California’s 45th Cong. District

Yesterday, John and I met Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet. He’s a Democrat running for Congress against Republican Mary Bono in California’s 45th Congressional District. This is a district that Obama won. Bono hasn’t had a serious challenger for years. But, this time, she does.

Pougnet is gay, a father of two, and he and his husband were one of the 18,000 gay couples who married legally in California last year before Prop 8 was repealed (while Prop 8 repealed gay marriage in the state, it left the 18,000 existing gay marriages intact). Unlike every other member of Congress, Pougnet would be directly impacted by DOMA. And, I think it’s an understatement to say that we need more LGBT voices on Capitol Hill.

Both John and I were impressed with Pougnet. He’s very smart, really knows his district, and just really gets politics and policy. I think being a mayor is one of the toughest elected offices to hold. People see whether you’re doing your job every day.

Pougnet has been endorsed by the Victory Fund.

Bono has a spotty record on LGBT issues, which is surprising given that her district includes Palm Springs. (And, she’s the stepmother of Chaz Bono.) Bono is not beloved by the right-wingers. She already has a GOP primary opponent. Yesterday, a third party candidate, representing the very conservative Constitutional Party, got in the race.

This is a race that Steve can win. He’ll need help. We’ve set up an ActBlue page for the Pougnet campaign. It’s important to contribute to candidates who share our values. Steve is one of them. And, his presence in Congress will help LGBT equality.

Here’s our interview:

Send Steve to Congress. Donate here.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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