Post submitted by Stephen Peters,  former Senior National Press Secretary and Spokesperson   

HRC announced its endorsement of Karl Dean (D) in his bid to become the next governor of Tennessee. Dean is a former mayor of Nashville with a clear commitment to protecting and advancing LGBTQ equality.

“Karl Dean has a proven record of putting people ahead of politics and finding solutions to the problems hard-working families face each and every day,” said HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “Karl is the clear choice for Tennessee’s fair-minded voters who want a brighter, stronger future moving Tennessee forward as a welcoming and inclusive state. HRC is proud to endorse Karl Dean for governor, and we look forward to working with him to advance LGBTQ equality in The Volunteer State.”

“I’m grateful to the Human Rights Campaign for its endorsement, because we both believe Tennessee’s future success depends on being a welcoming, inclusive state where everyone is treated with dignity and respect," said Karl Dean."The more we celebrate our diversity and the more open we are, the stronger we’ll be.”

Karl Dean led the city of Nashville as mayor for eight years, with a pragmatic approach to leadership focused on jobs, education, and public safety. As mayor of Nashville, Dean signed into law an employment non-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBTQ people. He was also the state’s first mayor to join a national coalition of mayors in support of marriage equality.

In Tennessee, HRC has identified more than 259,000 “Equality Voters,” meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign to mobilize voters for the midterm elections called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.


Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC ( and authorized by Karl Dean for Governor Committee, Calvin Anderson, Treasurer. 

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