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Gay Former Ambassador to Denmark Announces Run for Congress

Rufus Gifford is the seventh Democrat — and second openly gay man — to toss his hat in the ring to represent Massachusetts' Third Congressional District.
The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit - Day 2
Ambassador Rufus Gifford speaks at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit in New York on September 19, 2017.Paul Morigi / Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Rufus Gifford, an openly gay man who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark under the Obama administration, launched a bid to represent Massachusetts in Congress.

Gifford, who also worked as Barack Obama’s re-election campaign finance director in 2012, announced his candidacy in a video posted to YouTube on Monday.

“Like so many of you, I woke up a year ago shocked and heartbroken by the election of Donald Trump,” Gifford, 43, said in the video. “As someone who worked for President Obama for 10 years, helping elect him twice and implement his policies, the idea that that profound legacy was at risk on health care, on climate, on equality, that was devastating for me.”

Gifford will be running in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District, where six-term Democratic Rep. Niki Tsongas declared she would not be seeking re-election. He is the seventh Democrat to join the crowded race; two Republicans have also announced bids for the seat, which covers the northeastern part of the state.

Gifford — who married his husband, Stephen DeVincent, in 2015 while serving in Denmark — is not the only LGBTQ candidate vying to represent the district. Openly gay Steve Kerrigan, the 2014 Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, is also in the race.