I have the blessing of having many many friends - some closer than others, but still more than I can count for the most part. They are in Utah, New York, Germany, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and other places in between.
I recently received a call from a dear friend, Robert. He is from California and lives in Utah now. He ran for mayor of Salt Lake City last election.
It seems Robert has a friend by the name of Gary Barkley who would also like to consider running for office - only not as mayor - Gary has his heights set higher - he wants the seat of Jim Matheson - a congressman. Gary is exploring the possibility of running even as I write this.
Robert suggested that I speak with Gary a couple of weeks ago. What a remarkable man. Gary is a former Iraqi war veteran, the son of Utah coal miners, born in California and gay. As soon as Robert told me about him and asked whether I would be interested in speaking with him and possibly doing some fundraising for Gary in the NYC area, I said yes in a resounding way.
That was some two or three weeks ago. In that time, I have pored over his website www.barkley4change.org and spent considerable lengths of time on the phone discussing strategy, fundraising, the needs and desires of Utah residents and a myriad of political hot issues.
I strongly encourage you to visit the website, email Gary - he is knowledgeable, articulate, intelligent and forthright in his candor.
He is going to bring a refreshing change to Utah politics and will give a voice to Utah's progressives, and gays who have historically been marginalized with respect to legislation.