John Traier is the chair of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization, he is running for election in New Jersey’s 34th legislative district, and he happens to be gay, something which he feels should have no impact on his candidacy. Two weeks ago, Congressman Scott Garret (R-5) made statements about not supporting gay republicans. At the time, Traier found those statements “hard to believe.”
Now, the republican is calling for a GOP based on “inclusion, not exclusion” in the wake of Garrett’s statements.
“I am disappointed that he hasn’t disaffirmed the comments or given some initial explanation,” Traier told PolitickerNJ. “It bothers me tremendously and I don’t want his comments to define us as a party.”
For Traier, who released a statement today calling on “party leaders to recruit gays, women and minorities to broaden the GOP,” statements like the ones made by Garrett are “exactly the wrong message to send.”
Though some notable Republicans like Governor Chris Christie have not made statements disavowing Garrett’s remarks, Traier says that he finds statements from Republicans like Holly Schepisi “gratifying.” In addition, Traier says that Republican Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick “has really stepped up to the plate,” and plans to help Traier fundraise as he pursues the LD 34 seat.
“It is important for leadership to speak out,” Traier said. “At the same time, I don’t want to lump everyone who isn’t speaking out into one group. Everyone is trying to digest the situation and deal with it it in the best way possible.”