In a surprise development, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club President Martin Garcia has announced he will not seek re-election as president and will run instead next month for the clubâ€™s position of vice president for legislative and political affairs.
Garciaâ€™s announcement comes nearly one year after he and a slate of candidates he recruited shook up the clubâ€™s established order by winning control of three of its five officer positions. In the process the challengers effectively wrested control of the club from its longtime leaders, including then President Lateefah Williams, who lost her re-election bid to Garcia.
â€śIn my tenure as president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Iâ€™ve been humbled by the LGBT leaders here in the city and proud of the work that weâ€™ve been able to do together,â€ť Garcia said in a statement. â€śWe have been able to accomplish a lot in this last year and ensure that the Stein Club remains as influential in the District as it has always been,â€ť he said.
Garcia, an account manager for a D.C.-based political consulting firm that works mostly with progressive Democratic candidates, said he decided to seek the clubâ€™s vice presidential post for legislative and political affairs so he could devote more time on the upcoming 2014 D.C. elections.
He said he is endorsing the person he would replace in the vice presidential post, Angela Peoples, in her bid to succeed him as president.
â€śShe has shown outstanding leadership this past yearâ€¦and I am excited to continue working alongside her to amplify the voice of LGBT Democrats in this city,â€ť he said.
Meanwhile, Vincent Paolo Villano, who won election last year as vice president for administration on Garciaâ€™s slate, has announced he will not run for re-election for that or another officer position at the clubâ€™s upcoming election on Nov. 18. And club treasurer Barrie Daneker, who was re-elected last year unopposed by the Garcia slate, also announced heâ€™s not running again for an officerâ€™s post.
Stein Club Secretary Jimmie Luthuli, who also won re-election last year unopposed, said at the clubâ€™s Oct. 14 meeting that she plans to run for an officerâ€™s position but hasnâ€™t decided which post to seek.
The vote in the clubâ€™s December 2012 election came after Garcia and his supporters recruited close to 50 mostly young LGBT activists to join the club within a week or two prior to the election, with some joining on the day of the election, so they could vote for the Garcia slate. The club has since changed its bylaws to require that people become a member for at least 30 days before being eligible to vote in a club election.