Richard Tisei is a Republican running for U.S. House from Massachusetts’ Sixth District. He is also openly gay. Prior to his run for the U.S. House, Tisei served in both the Senate and House of the Massachusetts state government. Tisei also previously ran his own real estate firm.
Tisei has already contributed greatly to the pro-equality Republican movement. But by winning his upcoming election, Tisei would put the movement on the map like never before.
To learn more about Tisei, and to support his campaign, click here.
Purple Elephant (PE): What’s the first thing you want people to know about your candidacy?
Richard Tisei: I want people to know that we can do better as a country. We must never accept the incredible dysfunction down in Washington. I’m the type of person who will put my love of country before my love of party. I believe in the American Dream, and I’m a strong supporter of the free enterprise system. The problems we face have nothing to do with a lack of innovation and ambition in the American people. Our challenges are a direct result of a government that has grown too big, too powerful, and increasingly disconnected from the American people.
PE: You barely lost in 2012. What’s going to tip the balance in your favor in 2014?
Tisei: Almost two years ago, we began a campaign to send a message to Washington that something had to change. For the first time in years we offered the people of this district a real choice and hundreds of thousands of folks all throughout the North Shore responded. We were up against a political machine that doesn’t take very kindly to being challenged, and against all odds we nearly pulled it off. We were motivated by a powerful idea we all shared: That ordinary people could band together, shake up the political system, and help set a new direction for our country. Over the past two years our countries problems have only gotten worse. Our debt is $17 trillion, our economy is no longer creating jobs, and Obamacare is destroying Massachusetts’ own carefully crafted healthcare law. Everyday more and more people recognize it’s time for real change in Washington.
PE: How would you make the case to supporters of same-sex marriage and gay rights that you would advance the cause better than your opponents, who is also broadly supportive of gay rights?
Tisei: A Republican congressman who happens to be gay can make a tremendous difference in helping to change hearts and minds in the Republican Caucus. I know that from my experience, having seen the tremendous evolution that has taken place over the last 10 years in Massachusetts. The fact of the matter is, that we will never have true equality in this country until we have champions on both sides of the isle who are willing to stand up and speak out to ensure that every American is treated fairly and equally under the law. I clearly would be in a unique position to help be a catalyst for change.
PE: What’s your position on anti-discrimination claims such as those brought against bakers or florists who refuse to serve a same-sex wedding?
Tisei: I planned my wedding reception not too long ago. If I was refused service by a baker or florist, I would have simply have taken my business and spent my money somewhere else. That’s the beauty of the free market.
PE: What was your reaction to Rep. Randy Forbes’s admonition that Republican congressmen shouldn’t support you?
Tisei: It’s a shame that that there are still people who think like that, especially a United States Congressman. In this day and age most people judge individuals by the content of their character, and people like Rep. Forbes who would discriminate are clearly out of the mainstream. The fact that he was repudiated by many party leaders is a good sign that we are starting to move in the right direction.
PE: Republican Party in 2024… What does it look like? What does it care most about?
Tisei: The Republican Party in 2024 didn’t reinvent itself, rather it reclaimed its roots becoming a party that once again embraced freedom, liberty, and equality under the law. The party reverted back to the ideals espoused by Barry Goldwater and was wildly successful, governing with a philosophy that the government should “get off your back, out of your wallet, and away from the bedroom.”
PE: Thank you very much. We at The Purple Elephant wish you the best of luck. We’ll be following your campaign closely.