Outgoing Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Joe Solmonese has been named a national co-chair for President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Solmonese, who is scheduled to step down from the HRC next month, is one of 35 co-chairs announced on Wednesday.
The varied list includes Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Caroline Kennedy, actress Eva Longoria, and former White House chiefs of staff Bill Daley and Rahm Emanuel, who was elected mayor of Chicago one year ago this week.
The co-chairs will advise on key issues and have also been brought on board to help mobilize voters.
Clearly by reaching out to Solmonese who, while a contentious figure for some in the LGBT community, has been the face of the largest gay rights campaign group for many years now, the Obama campaign has indicated its desire to capitalize on its mostly positive relationship with the LGBT community.
In terms of LGBT rights support, other names of note include Senator Dick Durbin, who is a co-sponsor to the Employment Non Discrimination Act, California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris who has advocated for allowing same-sex marriage during the Proposition 8 court battle, and Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller who supported the Iowa State Supreme Court’s reasoning in its 2009 decision that legalized same-sex marriage.
The full list of co-chairs appears below:
- Lynnette Acosta OFA volunteer leader from Florida
- Marc Benioff CEO of Salesforce.com
- Senator Michael Bennet U.S. Senator from Colorado
- Mayor Julian Castro Mayor of San Antonio
- Governor Lincoln Chafee Governor of Rhode Island
- Ann Cherry Retired teacher and OFA volunteer leader from North Carolina
- Representative Judy Chu Representing the 32nd District of California
- Representative Emanuel Cleaver Representing the 5th District of Missouri
- Bill Daley Former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce
- Maria Elena Durazo Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
- Senator Dick Durbin U.S. Senator from Illinois
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel Mayor of Chicago
- Senator Russ Feingold Former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
- Representative Charles A. Gonzalez Representing the 20th District of Texas
- Loretta Harper High School Counselor and OFA volunteer leader from Nevada
- Attorney General Kamala Harris Attorney General of California
- Sai Iyer Student at Virginia Commonwealth University and OFA volunteer leader from Virginia
- Caroline Kennedy Author/President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
- Eva Longoria Actress and Philanthropist
- Felesia Martin OFA volunteer leader from Wisconsin
- Bishop Vashti McKenzie African Methodist Episcopal Bishop
- Attorney General Tom Miller Attorney General of Iowa
- Kalpen Modi Actor/Former White House Associate Director for the Office of Public Engagement
- Admiral John Nathman Retired U.S. Navy Admiral
- Governor Deval Patrick Governor of Massachusetts
- Secretary Federico Pena – Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and U.S. Secretary of Energy
- Elaine Price Retired Ohio resident and OFA volunteer leader from Ohio
- Penny Pritzker Founder and CEO of PSP Capital Partners
- John Register U.S. Army Veteran and Paralympian
- Representative Jan Schakowsky Representing the 9th District of Illinois
- Senator Jeanne Shaheen U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
- Joe Solmonese President of the Human Rights Campaign
- Alan Solow Partner at DLA Piper LLP and past Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
- Governor Ted Strickland Former Governor of Ohio
- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor of Los Angeles