Teaching Case - A Close Election

A Close Election


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  • Product Description

    When a Republican state representative in the Midwest decides not to seek re-election, he is approached by a politically active, successful farmer about running for the seat. He thinks the farmer would represent the moderate wing of the party effectively and decides to support his candidacy. In a conversation several months later, the candidate reveals that he is gay although conservative on gay issues, and asks the representative’s advice on whether to reveal his sexual orientation to his campaign manager and supporters. The representative realizes that the advice he gives the candidate may shape the outcome of the election. He says that such an admission would make the campaign far more difficult, and that he thinks it is a personal issue that the candidate isn’t obligated to reveal. The only other candidate in the primary is a previously unknown conservative openly opposed to what he calls the homosexual agenda. The moderate candidate runs a campaign focused on the issues, but three weeks before the primary his campaign manager resigns, having learned of the candidate’s homosexuality and feeling betrayed at not being told. The candidate loses the primary by a small margin.

    Learning Objective:
    This case can be used to provide a vehicle of discussion and serve as a class exercise on the ethics in government.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: September 01, 1998
    HKS Case Number: 1454.0
    Case Author: Kenneth Winston
    Faculty Lead: Kenneth Winston
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 4
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
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