Equality PAC Endorses Phil Gardner for Congress Calls Gardner “the natural fit to continue retiring Congressman Denny Heck’s work”

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON – Today, Phil Gardner received the endorsement of Equality PAC, the political action committee formed by leaders of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. In today’s endorsement, the powerful political group highlighted Gardner’s work for LGBT equality and his historic candidacy. 

“Sending Phil Gardner to Congress is an easy call during a difficult time in our country’s history,” said Equality PAC Co-Chair and Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline. “Phil is the natural fit to continue retiring Congressman Denny Heck’s legislative work, and Denny’s national reputation for speaking truth to power. As the first congressman born in the 1990s and Washington state’s first LGBT congressperson, Phil Gardner will protect and build on the progress towards LGBT equality made by generations of LGBT leaders. Our future will be in good hands with a new generation of American leaders like Phil serving in the halls of Congress.” 

“With Phil Gardner’s candidacy, Washington voters get the rare opportunity to send an experienced leader and a fresh face to Congress,” said Equality PAC Co-Chair and California Congressman Mark Takano. “As a top staffer on retiring Congressman Denny Heck’s senior leadership team for nearly a decade, Phil has the experience and know-how to hit the ground running in Washington, D.C. With Phil Gardner in Congress, LGBT veterans and servicemembers will have a fighter on Capitol Hill who knows what it takes to represent military communities like Washington’s 10th Congressional District. With so much about our future uncertain, one thing is clear: we need Phil Gardner serving in Congress.” 

“I’m humbled to earn the endorsement of Equality PAC, and I’m ready to keep working hard for Washington’s 10th Congressional District,” said Phil Gardner. “It’s been the honor of a lifetime serving my hometown as a senior staffer in Congress, and especially to serve alongside retiring Congressman Denny Heck, my friend and mentor. I recognize the sacrifice and struggle generations of LGBT Americans have made to build a better world for younger LGBT Americans like myself, and I pledge to continue their work as well. The fight for LGBT equality is far from over, and I’m ready to do my part in Congress on behalf of all LGBT Americans.” 

About Equality PAC 

Equality PAC is the political arm of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus and is dedicated to the full legal and societal equality for LGBTQ Americans. All funds raised into Equality PAC are spent supporting and electing openly LGBTQ individuals and strong LGBTQ allies to the United States Congress and Senate who are committed to passing the Equality Act and to ensuring full civil rights and protections for all LGBTQ individuals. 

In the 2018 midterms, Equality PAC made history by helping to elect Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona), re-electing Senator Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), and electing four new Members of Congress: Angie Craig (Minnesota), Chris Pappas (New Hampshire), Katie Hill (California), and Sharice Davids (Kansas). In total, Equality PAC contributed nearly $3m towards the effort to flip the House during the midterm elections and plans to continue building on that progress in the 2020 elections with endorsed LGBTQ candidates in open Democratic seats in California, New York, Indiana, Washington, and New Mexico; an open-Republican Red2Blue seat in Texas; and targeted Red2Blue seats in Michigan and Indiana. 

About Phil Gardner 

With nearly a lifetime of calling the South Sound home, Phil Gardner has deep ties to the communities he’s served. He moved here as a young child when his father started working for the Frank Russell Company while his mother opened up a small after-school learning program for local children. Phil attended Puyallup public schools and graduated high school in University Place. He knows how to make change happen in our community and has been doing it since he first started volunteering on campaigns as a high school student, driven by his deep commitment to helping the people and world around him. 

Gardner has been part of Congressman Heck’s leadership team for nearly a decade, working alongside Congressman Heck in the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act, hold the Trump administration accountable, and advance LGBT equality in Congress. Phil would be the first Member of Congress born in the 1990s and Washington state’s first openly LGBT Member of Congress, and he looks forward to building on Denny’s success in the House. 


Date: May 4, 2020
Contact: Jeff Larivee, (202) 821-5203