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Openly gay Republican candidate may be a first for Idaho

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Openly gay Republican candidate may be a first for Idaho

By Mike Sharp. CREATED Mar 11, 2014

When candidate Dom Gelsomino speaks about his views on government you can understand why he's running as Republican for a House seat in District 18.

But there's one thing about Gelsomino that is unique when it comes to Idaho Republicans.

"Idaho is in for quite a treat,” Gelsomino tells On Your Side. “Idaho gets to see its first openly gay Republican run for office -- and a conservative Republican, too."

With gay rights as one of the hottest issues at the Idaho Statehouse many have viewed the issue as partisan - that “adding the words” went down party lines. Gelsomino says not if he's elected.

“I would support 'Add The Words' where religious institutions, organizations and businesses would be exempt, as would be the federal and state-owned businesses, buildings or organizations," he says.

His opponent, Democrat Representative Phylis King is the co-sponsor of the current 'Add The Words' bill and she tells On Your Side she's not concerned with Gelsomino's sexual orientation.

“I think that's his business,” says King. “What I want him to do if he wins is to be a really good legislator and to work as hard as I do."

King says she expects the campaign to focus on issues besides gay rights.

"All the times I've been talking to people, the number one issue is education and economy and jobs and I just think they're going to vote for me for that reason," she tells On Your Side.

Gelsomino says while his sexuality may make him stand out now, it won't for long. He hopes eventually, if he wins, it’ll be his views on the issues that take center stage.

"Despite my personal life, it's how I will vote that's going to matter," he says.