Republican — Gina Roberts
Gina Roberts has been active in the Republican party since attending high school in East County San Diego. Raised in a family of Democrats, she was the only member to pursue Republican views and has been active in political campaigns since Nixon.
After graduating from UC San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Roberts raised a family (she has a daughter and two sons) and ran her own engineering firm. She came out as transgender in 2012 and has been unequivocally open about her entire journey, opening minds and hearts within even the farthest right of her party.
Roberts is the president of the Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego; the vice chair of the Log Cabin Republicans of California; and corresponding secretary for the Escondido Republican Women’s Federated.
In November 2016, Roberts was elected as the first transgender member of the San Diego County Republican Party Central Committee and is a delegate to the California State Republican Party.
She is also an active competitive shooter, tactical shooter, firearms instructor
and a founding board member of the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC. She
is also active in two women’s shooting organizations, “A Girl and A Gun” and “A Well Armed Woman,” where she teaches women how to take charge of their personal safety. Seen as a peacemaker, she is very adept at making diverse groups of people work together for the common good.
She has been involved with numerous start-ups over the years, traveled extensively around the world and is currently establishing a manufacturing plant in rural Pennsylvania. bit.ly/2t8sQWM
Democrat — Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is a nonprofit and political resource development manager, a former award-winning reporter, an activist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps with over a decade of combined military and community service.
In 2008, Rodriguez-Kennedy was honorably discharged from the military under the discriminative “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He made international headlines in his fight against the policy, and again as one of the first to attempt to reenlist when the policy was first ruled unconstitutional in 2010.
Since then he has also been active in local politics. His awards include being selected as Veteran of the Year for the 77th Assembly District in 2009; the Nicky Award for Outstanding Community Activist in 2011; and induction onto the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Benjamin Dillingham and Bridget Wilson Veteran’s Wall of Honor in 2013.
A graduate of the inaugural class of the Young Professional Council’s leadership academy, a program of The Center, Rodriguez-Kennedy also served on the board of directors of San Diego LGBT Pride from 2010 to 2013. Additionally, he served as a member of the San Diego County Veteran’s Advisory Council from 2010-2016.
He currently serves as president of both the California Young Democrats and the San Diego Democrats for Equality, as an executive board member and platform committee member of the California Democratic Party and as a member of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee. bit.ly/2F7e3kA
Moderator — Morgan M. Hurley
Morgan M. Hurley grew up as the daughter of a newspaper editor and got the writing bug at a young age. She entered the Navy in 1980 and after three increasingly invasive but unsuccessful investigations into her sexuality, she left active duty in 1987 and became a Navy contractor, traveling the world as the first female to work on board aircraft carriers. A year later she rejoined the U.S. Navy Reserve Intelligence Program and remained until retirement in 2003.
She was inducted onto The Center’s Benjamin F. Dillingham and Bridget Wilson Veteran’s Wall of Honor in 2013 and has served as chair of its advisory committee since 2016.
In 2009, she helped launch San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, an online-only media organization, where she served as assistant editor. In 2012, she moved on to San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN), becoming editor of San Diego Downtown News and assistant editor of Gay San Diego. In 2013, she took over as editor of Gay San Diego. She has received various awards from national journalism organizations, including three first place awards from the San Diego Press Club. In 2015, she received the Nicky for Best Journalist and in 2016, she was presented the Michael Portantino Excellence in Journalism Award from the Nicky’s board of governors. In March 2018, she will be stepping away from SDCNN to pursue a new opportunity as director of communications for a local educational consulting firm.