Candidate Forum: Jacob Meister

Wed. January 27, 2010 12:00 AM by Jay Shaff

jacob meister

photo credit // jay shaff

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

Jacob Meister is a gay attorney running for the Democrat nomination to the US Senate. While in the beginning, the fact that he is gay was not part of his platform, but others referring to his orientation have caused him to reconsider that stand. He took the time to speak with a few weeks ago from his campaign headquarters in Bucktown.

Asked how being gay has impacted the campaign, Meister said "The answer to that question has changed since I jumped into this race because I very firmly got into this race saying I happen to be gay but I'm not the gay candidate. While that's still true what's has evolved during the course of this campaign is 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."

Meister has had to fight to be included in debates and other events which have included his four opponents due to low poling numbers and poor name recognition, but he seems to have risen in the polls and hopes from great support from the LGBT community.

On Don't Ask Don't Tell, Meister offered: "He [President Barack Obama] could by executive order stop enforcement of DADT which to me is a perfectly acceptable alternative to congressional action. It's obviously better to have congressional action but I don't think that's essential."

"We're losing really good people. Why in the world would we want to kick out good people who want to serve in the military?"

"One of the beautiful things about our system is that the courts will protect," when commenting on court cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Meister said "Judges are often times look on as liberal because they take on the majority to protect a minority."

Term limits: "Some days I like them, so days not. I think we have too many legislators who have been there far too long."

"Economically I think I'm pretty middle of the road. Spending became popular and sort of the norm in the middle 80's when I worked on Capitol Hill. I'm fundamentally a Keynesian when it comes to economics. We're strangling ourselves with debt and spending."

"Education is local. Funding for vocational programs has dried up. We are losing generations of trade people."

More information on Jacob Meister can be found at

Democratic Senate candidates Alexi Giannoulias, Jacob Meister, and Robert Marshall offered time to and the LGBT community through these informative candidate forums. Democratic Senate candidates David Hoffman and Cheryle Jackson, and the Republican Senate candidates did not respond to requests. does not endorse political races.