Run for Office
“It made a huge difference for me. It made it possible for me to keep a fundraising edge against my opponents, which gave me credibility as a candidate at a time when people were skeptical that an out lesbian could win.”
-- Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
It takes courage and determination to run for office and even more to run as an openly LGBT candidate. In your pursuit of public office, you must run smarter campaigns, raise more money and fight harder for viability and support than your opponents. At the Victory Fund, we understand these challenges, and we set the bar high, both for our candidates and for our organization.
A political campaign is a complex undertaking, which requires discipline, talent and expertise. A successful campaign is achieved by applying skills and knowledge, not luck. We look forward to helping provide you with the tools necessary to be successful.
There are a number of things we provide to candidates and potential candidates:
- Initial assessments of viability and campaign organization
- Sophisticated, intensive candidate and campaign training
- Financial support from both our PAC and our diverse network of LGBT donors
- One-on-one strategic and technical support for planning, fundraising, message development, voter contact and earned and paid media.
- Vetted and highly qualified campaign consultants and staff
You are not alone
Many before you have paved the way for your upcoming journey into public life. When the Victory Fund was established in 1991, there were 49 openly LGBT elected or appointed officials. Today, there are more than 500. Roughly 22% of all Americans are represented by an openly LGBT elected official.
Key statistics about Victory Fund endorsed candidates in 2015:
- Total number of Victory-endorsed candidates: 69
- Total Victory-endorsed winners: 45 (65% win rate)
- Total number of endorsed candidates in low-equality states1: 29 (40%)
- Significant firsts: Jackie Biskupski became the first openly LGBT mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah. Shannon Hardin made history as the first openly LGBT African American elected in Ohio, and as the youngest member of the Columbus City Council. For the first time, residents of Nashville, Tennessee, will be represented by two Metro Council Members--Nancy VanReece and Brett Withers.
"The Victory Fund connected us with people all over the country that contributed to this campaign. We had more individual givers than anyone else. Everybody else had a lot of PAC donations. But most of our donations were individuals. And a lot of them were 5, 10 dollar contributions from people all over the country but it adds up. And we couldn’t have done it without the Victory Fund.”
-- Alabama State Representative Patricia Todd
To begin your journey
- Take a Step Back: There are a number of things you must consider before deciding to run for office. Click here for more information.
- Find out if you qualify for a Victory Fund endorsement: Click here to read about our endorsement criteria.
- Learn about the assistance offered to endorsed candidates: Check out the Victory Fund endorsement benefits.
- Apply for Victory Fund endorsement: Click here for information about the endorsement process.
- Get Smart: Attend one of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute’s Candidate and Campaign Trainings. Click here for more information, and a schedule of upcoming trainings.
1Based on Movement Advancement Project’s LGBT policy tallies, which rank states from negative to high based on 34 pro-LGBT policies. Each of these pro-LGBT policies counts for one point. States that received negative and low tallies (-5 to 6.99 points) are considered “low-equality states” by Victory. See “Mapping LGBT Equality in America,” by Movement Advancement Project, 2015. Available at www.lgbtmap.org/file/mapping-equality.pdf