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NC Democratic Senate Candidate Comes Out
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: October 22, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Chapel Hill, North Carolina) Jim Neal, the only declared Democratic candidate for the US Senate from North Carolina, has officially acknowledged he is gay.

Neal, who plans to challenge Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008, was asked if he is gay on the weekend during an online discussion on the liberal North Carolina blog

"I am indeed," he replied. 

"No secret and no big deal to me - I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise."

But he also said he wanted to be known as the candidate who happens to be gay not the gay candidate.

"I'm not running this race to make some social statement," Neal said. "I'm running to lead in the Senate for the voters in NC - something Sen. Dole has not done."

Neal is a North Carolina native. He was born in Greensboro in 1956. 

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978 and worked for Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst. 

He later returned to school at the University of Chicago, earning an MBA, and has worked at a variety of Fortune 500 companies.

Neal served as a national finance committee member for Wes Clark for President and the Kerry-Edwards campaigns, as well as acting as a national fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Erskine Bowles in 2004.

He has two sons.

His campaign Web site does not mention his sexuality. Nor does it mention LGBT issues in his section of campaign positions. 2007



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