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Marc Morgan and Tim Day

Two of the four Republican candidates in D.C. Council races this year are black gay men. That may seem surprising — exit polls showed just 27 percent of gay voters chose the GOP ticket in 2008, while just four percent of black voters did so.

In Ward 1, Marc Morgan is challenging Democrat Jim Graham, who is seeking a fourth term. Morgan, a fundraiser and strategist for environmental, HIV/AIDS, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender causes, is focusing primarily on green technology as a means to bring jobs and businesses into the ward. He also wants to rebuild D.C. education programs to increase college opportunities.

In Ward 5, Tim Day, an advisory neighborhood commissioner and native, is taking on Democrat Harry Thomas, Jr., who is seeking a second term. Day, the first in his family to attend college, heads his own accounting firm. He is a cancer survivor and serves as a spokesman for the Avon Walk for Cancer. Like Morgan, Day is also an advocate for HIV/AIDS causes.

I asked Day why, in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, he chose to become a Republican.

“I don’t believe being a Republican is a choice any more than any of our other values or beliefs,” he replied. “I am a Republican because I believe in small, accountable government. I am a Republican because I believe in fiscal responsibility. I am a Republican because I believe in designed tax programs to help our small businesses grow, not overbearing tax laws that impede their development.”

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