The Agenda

Election Day 2017: LGBTQ candidates poised to make history across the country

Tomorrow is election day — and Victory Fund has 61 LGBTQ candidates who will be on the ballot, and are poised to break down barriers or become historic firsts. Big wins Tuesday night could strengthen LGBTQ political power in the Deep South, Virginia and other states and municipalities nationwide. Live election results for our LGBTQ candidates can be seen at victoryfund.org/election2017 beginning Tuesday at 6pm ET.

Here are a few of the stories we will watch on election night, and keep you updated on:

Unprecedented Number of Transgender Candidates Seek Elected Office.

Transgender candidates across the nation could make history Tuesday night – potentially making 2017 the Year of the Trans Candidate. Eight Victory Fund endorsed trans candidates are up in state and local elections, an extraordinary number given there are currently just six out trans elected officials nationwide.

Danica Roem could become the first openly trans person to win and serve in a state legislature. Victory Fund bundled more than $200 thousand to help her defeat 25-year incumbent Bob Marshall, who proudly describes himself “chief homophobe” of the Virginia state legislature. She would be the only out trans state legislator in the nation.

Other trans candidates to watch are:

  • Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham, Minneapolis City Council: If elected, they would become the first openly trans people elected to the city council of a major U.S. city.
  • Lisa Middleton, Palm Springs City Council (CA): She would become the first trans person to win a legislative seat in the state of California.
  • Kristen Browde, New Castle Town Supervisor (NY): She would become the first trans person ever elected in New York state.
  • Tyler Titus, Erie School Board (PA): He would become the first openly trans person ever elected in Pennsylvania.
  • Shannon Cuttle, South Orange/Maplewood Board of Education (NJ): They would become the first nonbinary person to win elected office in New Jersey.
  • Sophia Hawes-Tingey, Mayor of Midvale (UT): She would become the first openly trans person to win elected office in Utah.

Breakthrough in the South.

Five Victory Fund endorsed LGBTQ candidates in Atlanta could dramatically increase LGBTQ representation and solidify Atlanta as a leader in the emergence of a new more inclusive South. The candidates include:

  • Cathy Woolard, Mayor: She would become the first openly LGBTQ person to be mayor of a major city in the Deep South.
  • Alex Wan, President of the City Council: He would become the first gay man and first Asian-American to hold the position.
  • Liliana Bakhtiari, City Council: She would become the first openly LGBTQ Muslim to ever win elected office in the United States.
  • Kirk Rich, City Council: He could maintain the LGBTQ “legacy seat” currently held by Alex Wan, and held by Cathy Woolard before him.
  • Josh McNair, Fulton County Commission: He would become the first openly gay Black man elected in Georgia.

Lesbian Mayoral Candidates Break New Ground.

Jenny Durkan could become the first openly lesbian woman to become the mayor of Seattle if elected. Cathy Woolard could become the first openly LGBTQ mayor of Atlanta and the only openly LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of a major Deep South city.

Both wins would be significant given just one openly lesbian woman is currently the mayor of a major U.S. city (Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski).

Follow election results live tomorrow at victoryfund.org/election2017 beginning at 6pm ET.

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