In his conversations with potential donors, Eric Curry has been identified as the “outsider” candidate and the less polite “unlikely” candidate running for the seat of San Francisco’s 12th Congressional District, covering much of the city. The 27-year-old gay, gender-specific San Franciscan is unaffected by such comments, as he is aware that he is making a long-term offer for the seat of the house.
It is currently being held by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), who has not yet officially announced whether she will be aiming for an 18th two-year term in 2022. In November, Pelosi announced that this would be her final term as a speaker. She agreed to a promise she made at the end of the 117th Congress to hand over the gavel.
Her triggering has sparked speculation as to whether she would step down from Congress next year as well. A spokesman for her campaign did not respond to the Bay Area reporter’s question about her re-election plans.
Pelosi filed a candidacy for the 2022 election in November, determining what their primary campaign committee would be. As of March 31, Pelosi said it had $ 6.3 million in its campaign account.
Whether or not Pelosi is running, Curry told the BAR he plans to stay in the race. He noted that like all other members of the House, their seat is vacant every two years and anyone can run for it.
“I have a lot of respect for her,” he said.
Rather than attacking Pelosi, Curry said he was focusing more on building his profile with voters and seeking donations to help him survive the June 7, 2022 primaries. Under the jungle primary system of the state, the top two voters, regardless of party, advance to vote in the November general election.
This enabled Democratic Socialist Shahid Buttar, rather than the Republican candidate, to land on the November ballot against Pelosi last fall. Buttar, a straight cisgender man who also identifies as queer because of his fluent gender expression, saw his campaign implode this summer amid a sexual harassment scandal and allegations that he had promoted a toxic workplace.
Buttar, who denied both charges, is considering another run in 2022. Should Pelosi choose not to run, any number of local politicians could join the race. San Francisco Gay Democratic Party leader David Campos, a former supervisor, and gay state senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) were both named as potential candidates, as were former supervisors Jane Kim and the MP David Chiu (D-San Francisco). and Pelosi’s daughter Christine.
Long chances of winning
Regardless of the election image he faces next year, Curry will have great chances of winning the race. He has never run for an elected office and returned to San Francisco in 2019 after attending college in Southern California.
The UC Santa Barbara graduate – he has a degree in chemistry – is working hard to convince donors that he is a serious candidate. Earlier this year, he sold his pet care customer list to another small business owner to focus on his campaign. In February, Curry attended a training course for LGBTQ-elected office seekers, conducted by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which is helping with the selection of candidates across the country.
He has already set up a campaign office in the Fox Plaza building, not far from City Hall, and hired two employees: campaign manager Frances Motiwalla and Tsukuru Fors, who oversees his press. Curry has posted his candidacy through social media, such as a recent Instagram live chat he held where he shared the stage with his friend’s 11 week old mixed breed pit bull Chihuahua puppy, Jynx, who is wearing a pink tutu is decorated.
“In life we regret things we don’t do, not things we did,” said Curry, wearing a white hoodie with his campaign logo on it. “If I didn’t make my voice heard, I would be sitting in 2022 and be very sorry.”
On Monday (April 19), at 7 p.m., he will host a virtual event to officially launch his home offer. Curry began to be more interested in politics because of the politics of the Trump administration.
He volunteered for Kamala Harris’s short-lived presidential campaign and was overjoyed when she became Joe Biden’s runner-up. Seeing the COVID pandemic hurt his own business, Curry opened eyes to the impact political leaders can have on people’s livelihoods and everyday lives.
“The decisions that are made by politicians in power today will no longer have to live with the effects in 20 years. My generation must and I want to have a seat at the table,” Curry told the BAR. My experience as a first generation gay mixed race college student, San Franciscan, makes me uniquely qualified to represent San Francisco. “
He has vowed to accept money from corporate action committees. And Curry put some of the tips he learned from Victory Fund training into action, such as in an email he sent on April 15, the date San Francisco first saw it in 1850 City entered: “Can you help us celebrate San?” Francisco’s birthday by bringing in $ 15 for our grassroots movement today? “
“I talk on the phone five to eight hours a day,” Curry said when calling potential donors and supporters.
He is nearing his campaign as he got his business off the ground. As the BAR’s business column noted last August, he launched his Eric Curry’s Pets while attending UCLA. He kept the business going when he enrolled at UC Santa Barbara and restarted it in San Francisco only to see his customer base collapse last March due to the COVID pandemic. His clients were instructed to work from home and no longer needed someone to walk their dog or check on their cat.
Curry had to move home with his parents and got a job at a pet shop in the Noe Valley for a while. He himself published a book called “A Real Story from San Francisco. With Pets”, which tells of his lifelong love for animals.
He didn’t come out of the closet until he was 24, a decade after first realizing he was attracted to other same-sex people. In his book, Curry tells of the struggle he went through to accept his sexuality.
As he wrote in an Instagram post for Out to Win Day on April 2, which was watched by the Victory Fund to encourage LGBTQ people to run for public office, he feared his religious family would not meet him would accept. He chose the anniversary of his Abuelita’s death to come out to them, hoping that timing would “soften the blow,” Curry explained.
“Today I am loud and proud of who I am, and it is one of my deepest wishes that society should accept LGBTQ people as well as Giants fans or people with blonde hair,” wrote Curry. “Isn’t it time San Francisco sent a progressive, gay, political outsider to Washington?”
Curry’s paternal family is mostly Irish and settled in San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake. his mother is from El Salvador. Curry is the oldest of four siblings who are fifth generation San Franciscans. He relies on their family ties in the city to support him in the house race.
“This is one district where just because I did business and grew up here, I’ve walked at least once in my life on almost every street in the district and ready to do it again,” Curry said. “Why we started the campaign 14 months in advance. I’m planning an authentic, transparent awareness campaign.”
Click here to register for Curry’s virtual kick-off event tonight, April 19th.
You can find more information about his campaign at https://ecforsf.com/.
Stay up to date with the latest LGBTQ political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/politicalnotes
Do you have a tip about LGBTQ politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or email [email protected]
Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going through these troubled times. To support local, independent LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.