Election Night Victories Expand LGBTQ Political Power; Trans Candidates Become Historic Firsts

38 LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed candidates won their races so far

Washington, DC – Washington, DC – While returns continue coming in, election results so far demonstrate LGBTQ political power is strengthening nationwide, and that transgender candidates are breaking down barriers like never before. 38 of 61 Victory Fund endorsed candidates won their elections, with four still undecided and one heading to a run-off – wins including historic victories by transgender candidates in school boards, city councils and the Virginia House of Delegates. Among the victorious candidates are Jenny Durkan, lesbian candidate for mayor of Seattle; Danica Roem, trans candidate for Virginia House of Delegates; and Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham, trans candidates for Minneapolis City Council. Throughout the election cycle Victory Fund raised more than $350 thousand for its endorsed candidates.

“From state legislatures to city councils to school boards, we continue to grow our influence and political power in ways unimaginable even a decade ago,” said Victory Fund President & CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills. “Voters are increasingly supportive of our candidates and our rights, making it a historic night for equality and for those LGBTQ candidates who shattered lavender ceilings and broke down barriers. And it was a revolutionary election night for our trans candidates – nearly doubling the number of out trans elected officials and making 2017 the year of the trans candidate.”

Among the wins so far, several major LGBTQ-related storylines have emerged:

Transgender Candidates Become Historic Firsts.

Transgender candidates across the nation won historic races Tuesday night – including Danica Roem, who will become the first openly trans person to win and serve in a state legislature. Five endorsed trans candidates won their state and local elections, solidifying 2017 as the year of the trans candidate.

Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham were both elected to the Minneapolis City Council, making them the first openly trans people ever elected to the city council of a major U.S. city. Lisa Middleton’s election to the Palm Springs City Council makes her the first trans person to win a legislative seat in the state of California, and Tyler Titus won his Erie School Board race to become the first out trans person elected in Pennsylvania.

Stephe Koontz, who did not apply for Victory Fund’s endorsement, also won a seat on the Doraville City Council, becoming the first out trans person ever elected in Georgia. Six trans people won seats, doubling trans elected representation across the United States.

Jenny Durkan Wins Big in Seattle.

Jenny Durkan will become the first lesbian mayor of Seattle, a significant victory given she will be one of just two openly lesbian women mayors of major U.S. cities (Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski).

LGBTQ Candidates Can Win Anywhere.

Victories for Danica Roem in Virginia, Guyleen Castriotta in Colorado,  Chris Wharton in Utah, and Tyler Titus in Pennsylvania prove LGBTQ candidates with the right message can win anywhere.  Smart and substantive leaders running on platforms that address the needs of constituents resonate with voters regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These important wins in traditionally more conservative or moderate areas will encourage other LGBTQ people to consider a career in elected public service.

The latest announcements on our candidates’ victories can be found at victoryfund.org/election2017.


Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBT Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels of government.