As LGBTQ History Month turns to Election Week, what better time to go over the history-making races LGBTQ Victory Fund candidates are running this year. We counted 1,006 LGBTQ people who ran for office in the U.S. this year, and we expect 574 LGBTQ candidates to be on the November ballot.
Here are just a few of the ways our candidates will make history this year:
LGBTQ Victory Fund candidates will become their state’s first openly LGBTQ representatives in Congress in Indiana, Michigan, Texas and Washington when our candidates Pat Hackett, Jon Hoadley, Gina Ortiz Jones and Beth Doglio win.
The Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus will get a little more diverse, as well, with the addition of Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres of New York, who’ll become the first Black openly LGBTQ representatives in U.S. history. Torres and Georgette Gómez (CA-53) will become the first Latinx LGBTQ members.
In State Legislatures
In Delaware, Sarah McBride and Marie Pinkney will become their state’s first openly LGBTQ state senators. The same is true in Florida and Georgia, where LGBTQ Victory Fund candidates Shevrin Jones and Kim Jackson, respectively, will become their states’ first openly LGBTQ state senators.
In Tennessee, Torrey Harris and Brandon Thomas will become their state’s first openly LGBTQ legislators when they win their competitive statehouse races. In Alaska, Lyn Franks will become the first openly LGBTQ member of her state’s legislature. Jared Nieuwenhuis is expected to become South Dakota’s first openly gay legislator. Eric Morrison will become the first openly LGBTQ member of the Delaware House.
Spotlight Candidates Marque Snow in Nebraska, Jabari Brisport in New York and Tiara Mack in Rhode Island are expected to become the first Black LGBTQ legislators in their states. Michele Rayner will become the first queer Black woman elected to the Florida legislature.
If our candidates prevail, LGBTQ women will be elected to legislative bodies for the first time in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania. Jess Benham, our Spotlight Candidate for Pennsylvania House, is expected to become the first openly autistic woman elected to any legislature in the country, along with being the first out bisexual person and LGBTQ woman elected to the Pennsylvania House. Spotlight Candidate David Ortiz is expected to be the first wheelchair user elected to the Colorado General Assembly, as well as the first out bisexual.
Stephanie Byers of Kansas, Sarah McBride of Delaware, Madeline Eden of Texas, Jessica Katzenmeyer of Wisconsin and Taylor Small of Vermont will become their states’ first openly transgender lawmakers. Louise Snodgrass and Mauree Turner will become the first out genderqueer/non-conforming legislators in South Dakota and Oklahoma, respectively.
LGBTQ Victory Fund candidates will also restore queer representation to legislative bodies where it’s lapsed in recent elections. Rep. Greg Razer will restore LGBTQ representation to the Missouri State Senate; Eric Holguin and Lorenzo Sanchez will become the first openly gay men elected to the Texas State House in 18 years. Zach Stepp of Ohio and Adrian Tam of Hawaii will restore LGBTQ representation to their states’ lower chambers.
In Statewide Office
Each of our statewide Game Changer Candidates will make history in their states as the first out LGBTQ candidates elected to statewide executive office.
Our Game Changer Candidate @jennawadsworth is running to become North Carolina’s next Commissioner of Agriculture. If elected, she’ll be the youngest openly LGBTQ statewide elected official in the country. pic.twitter.com/5uJxeqswlj
— LGBTQ Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) October 9, 2020
Bryce Bennett, running for Secretary of State, will become Montana’s first out LGBTQ candidate elected statewide. Jenna Wadsworth – currently North Carolina’s youngest female elected official – will become her state’s first openly LGBTQ constitutional officer if elected Commissioner of Agriculture. Marko Liias will be Washington state’s first out LGBTQ statewide elected executive with a victory in his race for Lieutenant Governor.