Candidate Forum: Giannoulias, Meister and Marshall

Wed. January 27, 2010 12:00 AM by News Staff

With the Feb. 2 primary election fast approaching, is publishing this series of interviews by Jay Shaff to get LGBT voters prepared for the polls.

In the Illinois' Democratic primary for the US Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama, front-runner Alexi Giannoulias, openly-gay Jacob Meister and Robert Marshall responded to's request for an interview. Former Inspector General David Hoffman and Cheryle Jackson, a former spokesperson for impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich, did not respond to our requests.

According to the most recent Chicago Tribune poll, Giannoulias has a commanding lead over Hoffman and Jackson. Giannoulias has also received the endorsement of Gay Chicago Magazine.

Giannoulias: We need fresh independent leadership in the US Senate

"This election will offer voters a stark choice between failed economic policies or a promising future. We need fresh independent leadership in the US Senate," said Giannoulias. "This is an incredibly important election." (continue reading)

Meister: I happen to be gay but I'm not the gay candidate

"...I think I hit a nerve within the LGBT community among people who realize that we need representation in the US Senate, that there isn't currently an open gay member of the Senate and there is a lot of issues that people want me to represent. Even though I just happen to be gay I think it is more important than when I got into the race." (continue reading)

Marshall: Cut back on military spending and put it on medical care

"I consider myself a right of center candidateā€¦I've taken the pledge to vote against legislation increasing taxes. What they need to do is cut spending." Marshall boasted of the National Taxpayers United of Illinois endorsement which he has received. (continue reading)

The Republican Senate candidates, including front-runner Mark Kirk, did not respond to our requests. Kirk's campaign website makes no reference to any LGBT issues. He is seen as a political moderate. does not endorse political races.