When Corey Booker decided not to challenge Chris Christie for governor, the choice for me and many others became crystal clear.
Senator Barbara Buono called me and there was no hesitation. You have to admire her guts and willingness to be the first to step up and provide leadership. As a small business person, a senior, a parent, and a grandparent, I have many interests in the political arena that make her candidacy very attractive and worthy of my proactive support. It is as a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights activist with an emphasis on the "T" that is one the major reasons for my political being. Buono was the prime sponsor of the very first fully inclusive LGBT rights legislation in New Jersey.
According to a press release by her camp:
In 2009, when Democratic leadership failed to pass marriage equality in the State Senate, Senator Barbara Buono cast an historical AYE vote in favor of marriage equality while speaking passionately on the Senate Floor urging the Democratic Party Leadership to support the legislation. Senator Buono is committed to make it law when elected Governor this November. In addition to her fight for marriage equality, the Senator has sponsored and advocated for legislation to end transgender discrimination. In 2011, Senator Buono was honored by Garden State Equality for her advocacy and sponsorship of one of the toughest pieces of anti-bullying legislation in the country.
"I am proud to endorse and chair this committee to make our case to all pro-equality voters in New Jersey why Barbara Buono is the best candidate to challenge Chris Christie in November. She provides a clear contrast and will give the voters a clear choice," stated Babs Casbar Siperstein, former President of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats.
"As one of the first openly gay elected officials in the State of New Jersey and as Deputy Mayor of Asbury Park, I am proud to add my name to the long line of LGBT supporters for Barbara Buono's candidacy for Governor. As a staunch ally of the LGBT community in the State Senate, we can count on Senator Buono to be a pro-equality leader for all New Jerseyans," stated Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John Loffredo.
"Senator Barbara Buono has been standing tall for all New Jerseyans, including those who happen to be LGBT, throughout her career. We need a Governor like her - a leader for all, not just for some," stated Sue Fulton, an Obama-Biden 2012 Delegate and a 1980 West Point Graduate. President Obama appointed Fulton to the West Point Board of Visitors, making her the first openly gay member of the board that advises the Academy.
This diversified and inclusive list of LGBT leaders supporting Buono is far from complete. Many folks were on holiday and could not be reached. Several folks not listed are enthusiastic and indicated strong support but are unable to go public at this time and deferred public commitment to give respect to their county leaders or other non-declared candidates with whom they have personal relationships.