The MAGA Democrat, pt. 2

Mario Garcia appears to continue his support of anti-LGBTQ+ candidates.

In this week's newsletter: LD24 Candidate Mario Garcia continues taking pictures with anti-LGBTQ+ people; An ally in Arizona works to make the state better; How line dancing is bringing communities together in Georgia; And a new In-Queer-sitive game for the week!

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: Earlier this year, LOOKOUT and Arizona Agenda reported that LD24 Democratic candidate Mario Garcia was seen pictured at Republican fundraisers with Kari Lake, as well as promoted some of her events on his personal Facebook pages.

After our reporting, Garcia's campaign manager said he was unaware of his client's affiliations and dropped him. But the Maryvale resident has continued his bid to represent the district and push out Rep. Annalise Ortiz, who currently represents the region in the House of Representatives and is also a member of the LGBTQ+ caucus.

As of this past week, though, LOOKOUT was alerted by a resident that Garcia continues being seen with far-right candidates and supporters of them.

On his Facebook page, Garcia posted a recording of him taken by Abel Valencia, a Phoenix resident who has promoted the Presidential race of Felipe Rios, an Indiana Republican who is campaigning against abortion, the Affordable Care Act, and has an anti-LGBTQ+ platform.

Garcia posed alongside Rios and Valencia in multiple photos, including at the State Capitol and what appears to be Garcia's campaign headquarters.

Rios is also on the November ballot for Indiana's House of Representatives, and on his campaign website, he pledged to not enforce the Affordable Care Act in the state, support a full ban on abortion from the moment of conception, and enforce a "traditional" marriage between man and woman.

A screenshot from Felipe Rios's website for his campaign to the Indiana House of Representatives.

Garcia could not be reached for comment by publication.

LOOKOUT'S TAKE: In our past reporting, Garcia said that he didn't affiliate with Kari Lake, and that it was just circumstance when they were pictured together.

“Claims that I support Kari Lake and am a secret Republican are unequivocally false,” Garcia told us in earlier reporting. “I met Kari Lake at a business conference with hundreds of other attendees. I've lived in this community for 17 years and have known her as a TV anchor. I do not support Kari Lake or endorse her campaign. I support Ruben Gallego for the Senate seat entirely. Merely posing for a photo does not align me with her extremism.”

That turned out to be a lie, since we found out the event he posed with her was a fundraiser for Lake and other Republicans. The recent pictures with Rios give more credence to the allegations from Garcia's opponent that he is not, indeed, a Democrat.

The Clean Elections debate between Garcia and Annalise Ortiz is slated for next week on July 12. LOOKOUT Executive Director Jake Hylton will be moderating. You can read our original story on Garcia below.

A Democrat running against an LGBTQ+ Caucus member has a history of promoting far-right Republicans
Leaked images show that Mario Garcia, who is running for a Senate seat to represent Maryvale and Glendale, has shared online posts and photos from candidates such as Kari Lake and Gary Snyder.


  • ALLYSHIP: Jeremy Helfgot, a local activist and spokesperson for Phoenix Pride, was profiled in a lengthy story about why he stands up for queer Arizonans. Arizona Republic


  • CLEVELAND HISTORY: Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, a major milestone for one of the nation's oldest queer centers. ABC5 Cleveland
  • LINE DANCING: How line dancing in Georgia is a welcome event for queers and allies. CBS News
  • BIDEN FLIPS: The White House made a statement against some gender-affirming care for minors this week. The 19th*
  • NEW YORK BAN: Nassau County in New York banned trans women from organized sports leagues, including recreational social leagues, such as ones organized by LGBTQ+ groups. them


Test your knowledge of this week in queer news! Answer the question below related to a story in this week's newsletter and get entered into a raffle to win LOOKOUT swag at the end of each month. The more times you play, the more chances you get to win!

What is the name of thePresidential candidate from Indiana who local Senate candidate Mario Garcia was pictured with?

Submit your answer here

Last week's question: What is the name of the gay man who was assaulted at a far-right festival in Phoenix this year?

Last week's answer: Rob Smith

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