Patrick Guerriero

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Patrick Guerriero

Patrick Guerriero, a former Massachusetts state legislator, mayor and advocate for marriage equality, is a founding partner of Civitas Public Affairs Group, a Washington, D.C.-based government affairs firm. Working on the local, state and federal level for two decades, Guerriero has advised and counseled many of the nation's leading Democratic and Republican elected officials and political donors on a wide range of issues. Civitas Public Affairs Group, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Boston, provides bipartisan government relations, issue-based donor-giving strategies, and public-policy campaign management to individuals, non-profits and corporations.

From September 1, 2006 to June 30, 2011, Guerriero served as the founding executive director of Gill Action, an issue advocacy group with offices in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado. At Gill Action, Guerriero managed nationwide political operations and supported successful gubernatorial and legislative candidates in various states. He also advocated for passage of state laws on nondiscrimination and relationship recognition.

Guerriero entered national politics when he served as president of the Liberty Education Forum and Log Cabin Republicans from January 1, 2003[1] to September 1, 2006[2] leading both organizations through periods of unprecedented growth. From 1993-2001, Guerriero won five consecutive elections. He served three terms as a Massachusetts state representative where he served on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and never missed a roll call, casting more than 1,000 consecutive votes. In 1998, Guerriero was elected mayor of the city of Melrose, Massachusetts where he served two terms, winning reelection with more than 80 percent of the vote. In 2002, after serving as then-Governor Jane M. Swift's deputy chief of staff, Guerriero became the nation's first openly gay candidate for lieutenant governor when he was chosen by Swift to be her running mate.[3]

Guerriero is an advocate for equality, having appeared on major television programs such as Nightline,[4] Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Today Show, and The O'Reilly Factor. He has written op-eds for publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Denver Post and has been profiled in The New York Times Magazine,[5] The L.A. Times Magazine,[6] The Washington Post,[7] and The Advocate.[8] Guerriero is the recipient of the U.S. Mayor's Association 2000 City Livability Award[9] for his nationally recognized "Civility Initiative" and the 1998 Fenn Award for Political Leadership from the John F. Kennedy Library's New Frontier Society.[10]

Early life[edit]

Guerriero was born to an Italian immigrant and mason father and a social worker mother. He worked his way through college, spending summers mixing cement and hauling bricks for his family's masonry business. Guerriero attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he played soccer and graduated summa cum laude in 1990. The next year, Guerriero attended Boston College's Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Fellowship in American Government Program. After college, Guerriero moved back to Melrose to manage the successful mayoral campaign of Richard Lyons.

Political career[edit]

State Representative[edit]

In 1993, Guerriero was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives (35th Middlesex District). He went on to twice win re-election. In the House, Guerriero served on several legislative committees, including Ways and Means, Ethics, Insurance, Health and Human Services, and Long-Term Debt and Capital Expenditures. He supported initiatives related to lower taxes, limited government expenditure, improved public schools, public safety, and welfare reform. Guerriero was a staunch supporter of the landmark 1993 Education Reform Act that required students pass standardized graduation tests (MCAS). He was also an advocate for gay and lesbian issues, effecting strict anti-hate crimes legislation and increased AIDS awareness funding.

Guerriero was awarded the John F. Kennedy Library's Fenn Award for politicians 35 years of age and younger on November 10, 1998.

Mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts[edit]

In 1998, Guerriero was elected mayor of the city of Melrose, Massachusetts. He served two consecutive terms, receiving more than 80% of the vote in both elections. A December 7, 1997 Boston Globe article referenced his platform of ‘restoring small town values to the small city’ of Melrose. This platform included fiscal discipline, better public schools, and a more friendly community. A July 12, 2001 Melrose Free Press article listed investments in infrastructure (new schools,[11] parks, and restoration of historic properties), keeping the budget in check, and his hands on approach to governing among his successes as mayor. As a result of his fiscal stewardship, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the city's bond rating. During his tenure as mayor, Guerriero created a "civility initiative" which encouraged residents to show each other respect and courtesy. This project earned him the City Livability Award at the U.S. Mayor's Association 2000 City Livability Awards.[12] In 2001, the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers named Guerriero the municipal official of the year.

Guerriero stepped down as in May 2001 to accept the position of deputy chief of staff with acting Governor Jane M. Swift’s administration.

Governor Swift[edit]

In May 2001 Guerriero accepted the position of deputy chief of staff to acting Massachusetts Governor Jane M. Swift. On January 3, 2002 Swift named Guerriero her running mate.[13] In March when Swift made the announcement that she pulling out of the race for Governor, she openly supported his continued run as Lieutenant Governor on the Republican ticket.[14]


Log Cabin Republicans[edit]

Guerriero on stage at the 2006 Utah Pride Festival

On January 1, 2003, Guerriero succeeded Rich Tafel as the leader of the Log Cabin Republicans. While at Log Cabin he praised the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's 2003 decision in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health as a conservative ruling supporting stable families, relationships, and society, limited government, individual liberty, and religious freedom. In early 2004, Patrick earned national recognition for successfully challenging President George W. Bush - launching the first national television ad that helped defeat Bush's proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.[15] In October 2004, Patrick filed Log Cabin Republicans v. United States challenging the constitutionality of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.[16] It was not until the White House came under Democratic control, however, that any significant legislative progress toward the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was made. U.S. President Barack Obama signed the legislation repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in December 2010.[17][18]

In 2013, Guerriero was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.[19]

The Gill Action Fund[edit]

On September 1, 2006, Guerriero became the first executive director of the Gill Action Fund, an organization working to advance gay and lesbian equality through the legislative, political, and electoral process. During his tenure, Guerriero oversaw a national network of donors contributing more than $15 million to political campaigns and organizations in dozens of states with the aim of electing equal-rights politicians and advancing or blocking legislation. In 2006, of the 68 campaigns supported by Gill Action, 56 were successful.[20] Gill Action under Guerriero also advocated for nondiscrimination and relationship recognition legislation in 13 states.


  1. ^ Georgia Log Cabin Republicans. Patrick Guerriero to lead Log Cabin Republicans, 2002-11-25, accessed 2008-7-2
  2. ^ Georgia Log Cabin Republicans. Patrick Guerriero Leaving Log Cabin after Four Years of Record Growth, 2006-05-23, accessed 2008-7-2
  3. ^ Wu, Janet (January 2002). "Swift Names Guerriero As Running Mate". WCVB Boston. Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. 
  4. ^ Davis, Teddy (August 30, 2004). "A House Divided?". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  5. ^ Sokolove, Michael (April 11, 2004). "Can This Marriage Be Saved?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  6. ^ Neuman, Johanna (June 12, 2005). "Irreconcilable Differences". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  7. ^ Hsu, Spencer S.; Williams, Vanessa (August 30, 2004). "Gay Activists Demand a Seat in 'Big Tent'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  8. ^ The Advocate - Google Books. 2002-04-16. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Gadsden and New Orleans Receive First-Place City Livability Awards for 2000 Program". U.S. Mayor. June 26, 2000. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  10. ^ "Dan Fenn Awardees". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  11. ^ "Lincoln Elementary School Renovation & Construction Project Opened September 2000". City of Melrose, Massachusetts. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  12. ^ "City Livability Awards 2000 to Announce Winners at Annual Meeting". U.S. Mayor. May 15, 2000. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  13. ^ Ebbert, Stephanie (January 2002). "Would-Be Lieutenant Governor Made His Political Mark Early". Boston Globe. 
  14. ^ Laidler, John (March 2002). "Guerriero Forges Ahead Without Swift Former Legislator Now Seeks Spot On Romney Ticket". Boston Globe. 
  15. ^ Roehr, Bob (March 18, 2004). "Marriage Update: Log Cabin launches anti-FMA campaign; California puts the brakes on, while Massachusetts may be moving forward". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  16. ^ Levine, Adam (October 13, 2010). "Judge orders military to stop enforcing 'don't ask, don't tell'". CNN. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  17. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (December 22, 2010). "Obama Signs Away 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  18. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (December 2010). "Obama Signs Away 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'". New York Times. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Eleveld, Kerry (July 2008). "The Gay Goodfellas". The Advocate.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ronald W. Alley
Mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts
1998 – 2001
Succeeded by
Robert J. Dolan