Gay attorney plays key role for McCain

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Trevor Potter, a former chair of the U.S. Federal Election Commission who is gay, is serving as the top lawyer for the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

As the campaign’s general counsel, Potter has been identified by newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post as one of the nation’s most highly regarded experts on U.S. election laws. Potter has been credited with helping draft the McCain-Feingold Act, a bipartisan federal measure that reformed federal campaign finance laws.

But few mainline news outlets have reported on Potter’s other role as a high-level, openly gay adviser to McCain.

Those who know Potter say he has been out to the GOP presidential nominee and to most of the Republican Party’s political establishment for many years.

“If you don’t know Trevor is gay, you’re not paying attention,” said attorney Michael Berman, president of the Duberstein Group, a government relations and lobbying firm in Washington.

Berman, a longtime Democratic Party strategist and contributor, said members of Washington’s political establishment and prominent Washington law firms that align themselves with Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the White House generally know Potter to be gay.

“I’ve seen him at advocacy and charity events with his partner,” Berman said. “He’s out, absolutely. And I’m certain McCain knows Trevor is gay and out.”

Berman, who is straight, served with Potter on the board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay advocacy group.

Read the full story from the Washington Blade.

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