The Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, has announced her intention to run against GOP Representative Madison Cawthorn, citing his rhetoric that has emboldened white supremacists and subscribers to the QAnon conspiracy theory while continuing to breathe life into former President Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 general election was fraudulent.
“Some people will say a gay woman who’s a Christian minister just can’t get elected in the South. Not to mention, she’s a Democrat. When I say, an insurrectionist who flirts with Nazis, fires up a violent crowd to attack our democracy, well he shouldn’t get reelected anywhere,” she said in a campaign video.
In January, shortly after the Capitol insurrection, Beach-Ferrara penned an op-ed criticizing Cawthorn for backing then-President Trump and those who sought to overturn the results of an election President Joe Biden won decisively.
“Cawthorn is now backpedaling in media appearances, but the damage has been done. Action taken recklessly or without ethical grounding can easily become dangerous; the same is true for rhetoric. Extremism can take root anywhere that dogma resides,” she wrote at the time.
Beach-Ferrara noted that her time working with the Asheville Board of Commissioners demonstrates her ability to work with people of different political viewpoints. She recently presented her colleagues “with a draft of a local nondiscrimination ordinance that if passed would outlaw employers and managers of public venues from discrimination based on gender identity, race and other characteristics,” according to USA Today.
“My faith teaches me that leadership starts with empathy, compassion, and listening and then getting to work to help people. That’s the kind of leadership I want to offer instead of the division and mean-spiritedness we’re getting now.” she said.
Beach-Ferrara, an LGBTQ activist, became nationally recognized for her efforts with the Campaign for Southern Equality, which filed an amicus brief in the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
You can watch her campaign video below.