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 clubâs position of vice president for legislative and political affairs.
Garciaâs announcement comes nearly one year after he and a slate of candidates he recruited shook up the clubâs 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.
âIn my tenure as president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Iâve been humbled by the LGBT leaders here in the city and proud of the work that weâve been able to do together,â Garcia said in a statement. âWe 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 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 clubâs 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.
âShe has shown outstanding leadership this past yearâŠand I am excited to continue working alongside her to amplify the voice of LGBT Democrats in this city,â he said.
Meanwhile, Vincent Paolo Villano, who won election last year as vice president for administration on Garciaâs slate, has announced he will not run for re-election for that or another officer position at the clubâs upcoming election on Nov. 18. And club treasurer Barrie Daneker, who was re-elected last year unopposed by the Garcia slate, also announced heâs not running again for an officerâs post.
Stein Club Secretary Jimmie Luthuli, who also won re-election last year unopposed, said at the clubâs Oct. 14 meeting that she plans to run for an officerâs position but hasnât decided which post to seek.
The vote in the clubâs 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.