Atlanta gay Republicans defend Mary Norwood — for being accused of being Republican

Norwood, who says she is an Independent, has been labeled a Republican for some time in Atlanta’s political circles, due mostly to her past voting habits favoring Republican candidates and attendance at a GOP convention.

Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, passed on making an endorsement in this race, instead giving “favorable ratings” to Watson and Norwood.

Norwood issued a strong response to the Democratic Party’s ad last week when the Democrats threw their first salvo:

This flagrant violation of the spirit of our City’s Non-Partisan Elections strives to divide Atlantans and harms our ability to solve Atlanta’s problems and move our City forward. Our City’s issues are too important for our citizens to select winners and losers based on partisan politics.

In 2009, the state Democrats came out hard against Norwood also in her run for mayor, using pretty much the same tag line they are using this year, that her “Republican record” is the elephant in the room she’s trying to hide. Norwood barely lost in a run-off with Mayor Kasim Reed, and captured the heavily gay District 6 vote.

Jamie Ensley, who is president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, a political group for gay Republicans — and also serves as Norwood’s treasurer — issued a press release today typical of his style — scathing and entertaining — to tell the Democrats to back off and quit “bullying” his candidate.

Ensley also blasted Watson for not being such a friendly LGBT incumbent and that Norwood’s record speaks for itself when it comes to supporting LGBT people. You can read answers both candidates have on a variety of LGBT issues as asked by the GA Voice by clicking here.

DuBose Porter also receives the wrath of Ensley. Porter, the newly-elected chair of the state Democratic Party, was a state representative in 2004 and supported the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that was approved by nearly 80 percent of voters. Porter has since changed his mind on same-sex marriage.

Watson is endorsed by the gay Georgia Stonewall Democrats while Norwood, of course, is endorsed by the state Log Cabin Republicans.

Ensley’s release in full:

The Georgia Log Cabin Republicans condemn Aaron Watson and the Democratic Party of Georgia’s Bullying of City Council Candidate Mary Norwood.
Aaron Watson and Democratic Party Chairman Dubose Porter are nothing more than schoolyard bullies trying to scare voters by portraying Mary Norwood as the Republican boogeyman.  Anyone who knows Mary Norwood would know that she’s a true Red, White, and Blue Independent!  
Why is the goliath State Democratic Party involved in a little ole city council race anyway? You both should be ashamed of yourselves for ganging up and bullying a lady! You both need to learn some manners and need to stop spreading lies!  Are you afraid that Mary will represent her constituents, bring back accountability to the city, and not just rubber stamp a “yes” vote for “The Mayor”? 
It’s also extremely disappointing and an outrage that you find it acceptable to hold a bias against tax paying Atlanta Republicans, and you’ve made it clear these citizens would not receive proper representation from you simply because of their party affiliation. Mr. Watson, discrimination on any level is wrong!
The fact is that you have accepted campaign contributions from a PAC funded by the Republican Koch Brothers who have funded Tea Party candidates across America, and at the same time, you accuse Mary Norwood of being a Tea Party candidate, when she’s never had anything to do with the Tea Party.  It’s incomprehensible and reprehensible!  
Newsflash: Aaron Watson, it takes more than your attendance at a few LGBT events once every four years, and exit stage right after your name is called to win our votes.  Yes, Mr. Watson, we noticed! You see, Mary Norwood has supported Atlanta’s LGBT community before the state party, you, or “The Mayor” supported marriage equality in America.  She didn’t have to evolve on her decision to support equality, because she’s always stood with us!
Aaron, Dubose, and cronies hear this: We are all tired of the attacks and the hypocrisy. It’s time to return an independent voice and accountability to Atlanta city government.  It’s obviously time to vote for Mary Norwood.