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Political Notebook: Gay Dem Marshall runs for CA High Desert House seat

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In the very first line of his campaign bio, Derek Marshall comes out as "an openly gay progressive Democrat and political organizer running to represent the people of the High Desert, the valley, and the mountains." It is indicative of how the formerly conservative area east of Los Angeles has changed politically over the past decade.More young professionals and families pushed out of coastal Southern California cities due to high housing costs have migrated over the Cajon Pass to Victorville, where Marshall lives, in San Bernardino County.

Marshall, 39, first discovered the area in 2009 and is now aiming to represent it in the U.S. House of Representatives from the state's 23rd Congressional District."I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about communities like mine from folks that live in the cities and sort of have this assumption about folks out here that we are somehow less intelligent and somehow more conservative.

There are just a lot of biases and misinformation about our communities," said Marshall during a recent phone interview with the Bay Area Reporter.He doesn't believe his sexual orientation will hinder his ability to attract support from residents of the district, which Marshall said has a median age of 32.

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