While much of the country is focused on next year’s presidential election, LGBTQ candidates are poised to make history in a number of races across the country this year, with several states holding off-year state and municipal elections. Here are six 2019 Victory Fund candidates you should know about.
Texas House of Representatives, District 28
All eyes are on this special election in Texas that could foreshadow which party holds the most momentum going into 2020. Dr. Eliz Markowitz faces six Republicans in the primary for this open seat in a district that Beto O’Rourke narrowly lost in his U.S. Senate race last year. Democrats need to pick up nine seats in order to flip majority control of the Texas state House. Markowitz, a longtime educator, would be the sixth openly queer woman elected to the state legislature.
Virginia House of Delegates, District 13
Danica Roem made history in 2017 when she defeated 25-year incumbent “Bigot Bob” Marshall by nine points and went on to become the first openly transgender candidate seated in any state’s legislature. As a member of the House of Delegates, Danica has fought to expand Medicaid, raise teacher pay, and finally fix Route 28. This year, she faces reelection against another bigot, Kelly McGinn, who has compared marriage equality to slavery and called adoptions by LGBTQ parents “absurd.”
Alejandra St. Guillen
Boston City Council, At-Large
Alejandra St. Guillen is an immigrants’ rights advocate running as a progressive challenger in her race for one of the at-large seats on the Boston City Council. Alejandra finished fourth in the preliminary election last month in which women of color dominated, earning her a spot on the November ballot. If elected, Alejandra will become Boston’s first Latina and first LGBTQ woman on the city council.
Louisiana House of Representatives, District 98
Even Bergeron’s campaign would make history in Louisiana this year if he wins his race to represent District 98 in the state House. Evan could become Louisiana’s first ever openly LGBTQ state legislator and one of just two openly LGBTQ elected officials in the state if he wins the election. He must either win 50 percent or more in the October 12 jungle primary or be one of the top-two vote getters to advance to a runoff election in November. Louisiana is one of the most hostile states to LGBTQ equality, according to the Movement Advancement Project, and is one of five states that have never elected an openly LGBTQ person to the legislature.
Lancaster City Council, At-Large
Through his work with refugee resettlement and restorative justice, Xavier Garcia-Molina brings his deep passion for serving his community to his historic race for the Lancaster City Council. Xavier advanced in the May primary to fill this open seat and will appear on the November ballot unopposed. Xavier will be the youngest member of the Lancaster City Council in history and its first openly LGBTQ Latinx member. There are currently just 76 openly LGBTQ Latinx people serving in elected office in the U.S.
St. Paul Board of Education, At-Large
As an activist, organizer and special education worker, Chauntyll Allen will bring progressive values to the St. Paul Board of Education. Her race has focused on improving school safety for all students and increasing opportunities for graduates through trade programs. Earlier this summer, Cauntyll earned the coveted support of St. Paul’s local Democrats as well as the endorsement of the teachers union. If elected, Chauntyll will be the first openly LGBTQ Black woman elected to the school board.