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HRC leader stumping for votes in four key Senate races

On the eve of a crucial election that will determine the shape of the next Congress, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin will travel to four states with critical races to mobilize thousands of LGBT voters and their allies to get out and vote for equality.

As part of HRC’s unprecedented ongoing national effort, Griffin will anchor events for candidates whose wins are important to maintaining a majority of pro-equality leaders in the U.S. Senate, including in Oregon, Colorado, Georgia and New Hampshire.

“We are at a critical juncture in our fight for full equality,” Griffin said. “The outcome of this election will impact whether or not we move forward or backward with fair-minded policies and legislation, and that’s why mobilizing LGBT voters and allies to get out and vote for equality-minded candidates is a key priority.”

According to a poll conducted for HRC by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, LGBT and allied voters were critical to 2012 electoral successes. HRC is working to ensure they make the difference in key races this time around as well.

As part of HRC’s ongoing efforts, on the cross-country tour Griffin will travel in person to multiple local events to urge HRC members to vote for HRC-endorsed candidates in tight races. Winning these races is crucial to maintaining a majority of pro-equality leaders in the U.S. Senate.

• Oregon: U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley – With over 81,000 HRC members and supporters in Oregon, Griffin will travel to Portland today to join one of the ongoing phone banks for Senator Jeff Merkley. There he’ll be joined by Sen. Merkley, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Through its political action committee (PAC), HRC also launched an online ad emphasizing the critical importance of re-electing Senator Merkley. A longstanding champion for LGBT equality, Sen. Merkley was the lead sponsor in the Senate for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). For the last three HRC Congressional Scorecards in a row, Sen. Merkley earned a perfect 100% score.

• Colorado: U.S. Sen. Mark Udall – With over 40,000 HRC members and supporters in Colorado, Griffin will travel to Denver on Wednesday, Oct. 29, to join one of the ongoing phone banks for Sen. Udall. There he’ll be joined by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio. HRC’s political action committee also launched an online ad emphasizing the critical importance of re-electing Sen. Udall, an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. In addition to being a leader in the successful fight to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Sen. Udall encouraged President Barack Obama to ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors and has long fought for the passage of ENDA.

• Georgia: Michelle Nunn – With nearly 40,000 HRC members and supporters in Georgia, on Thursday, Oct. 30, Griffin will travel to Atlanta for one of the ongoing phone banks to help elect Michelle Nunn to the U.S. Senate. There are stark differences between Nunn and her opponent David Purdue, and her strong positions on issues of great importance to LGBT Georgians make her the clear choice for equality.

• New Hampshire: U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen – With nearly 9,000 HRC members and supporters in New Hampshire, on Saturday, Nov. 1, Griffin will travel to Manchester to join one of the ongoing phone banks to re-elect Sen. Shaheen. Notably, Shaheen was the first U.S. Senator to call for the addition of marriage equality in the Democratic Party platform. She has also been a tireless advocate for extending equal benefits to the same-sex spouses of service members.

Prior to these local events, Griffin will kick off the tour with a remote town hall with Congressman Bruce Braley in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

• Iowa: Bruce Braley - Firing up LGBT and ally voters in Iowa, Griffin will also join Congressman Braley for a telephone town hall with HRC members. Braley earned a perfect 100% score on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the 113th Congress. He supported ENDA and co-sponsored the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act.

These events are just a small part of HRC’s national efforts. Because every vote counts, HRC is undertaking a major mobilization of LGBT voters and their allies. This includes:

• Sent millions of election-related action alerts to engage HRC members in endorsed candidate campaigns and to get out the vote for HRC-endorsed candidates

• Deployed 24 staff members to work on dozens of endorsed candidate campaigns and to mobilize HRC members

• Coordinated dozens of volunteer phone banks at HRC headquarters and across the country

• Will launch phone calls to HRC members and supporters to get out the vote in more than 50 priority races

Amplifying and expanding the impact of these efforts, HRC is also investing in an aggressive digital strategy to help get out the vote for equality, including:

• A national online ad motivating LGBT voters and their allies to get out the vote for equality

• Online ads in Oregon and Colorado to help re-elect two important pro-equality Senators

• Facebook advertising urging HRC members to get out the vote in key states

• Mobile advertising with links to HRC’s website where users can lookup polling locations

• Twitter advertising to help build social awareness to get out and vote

Find out more about HRC’s 2014 election efforts HERE.