I was sad to hear about the death of Cochise County Democratic Chairman Bob Bland yesterday. He fell ill while on a cross country trip.
Bland had been active in Democratic and progressive politics in a number of states before moving to Bisbee in 2006, and he started young. As a member of the Rice University Young Democrats, he was part of a movement that got the Texas Young Democrats to pass an anti-Vietnam War resolution in 1967.
A remembrance on the Democratic LBGT Caucus website says that Bland may have been the first openly gay Arizona county party chairman. Even though that distinction actually goes to a former Pima County chairman, Bland was recognized within the party as an important leader in the LBGT caucus. It is hard to imagine that the caucus would be as well organized today if he wasn’t around when it started.
Above all, he was a kind and friendly man. I guess there isn’t much better you can say about anyone.