Openly Gay Former Obama Finance Director & Ambassador Running For Congress

Rasmus Flindt Pedersen/Polfoto via AP

Rufus Gifford, the former finance director for Obama's 2012 presidential campaign and the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark during Obama's second term, has announced he'll be running for Congress.

Gifford hopes to occupy the seat representing Massachusetts' third congressional district. He explained in a video announcement:

"Like so many of you, I woke up a year ago shocked and heartbroken by the election of Donald Trump.

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.

During my time as ambassador it was my desire to get out from behind my desk, humanize our work, tear down the walls, listen, ask questions and encourage people to engage. The groups of people that started to show up, people who had never thought about public service before, that was amazing to me.”

Gifford is running against several other Democrats to achieve the nomination, including State Representative Juana Matias and openly gay Massachusetts lieutenant governor Steve Kerrigan. 

Nor is Gifford the only U.S. ambassador of the Obama administration to have declared a run for Congress. Daniel Baer, who served as ambassador to the Organization for Security & Co-operation in Europe, had announced plans to run in Colorado, but put those plans on hold when the incumbent Congressperson announced they'd seek reelection. 

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