Turnout for LGBTQ candidates can influence the U.S. presidential race
Washington, DC – Three openly LGBTQ non-incumbent candidates endorsed by LGBTQ Victory Fund won their Florida state House primary races Tuesday night – Joshua Hicks, Ricky Junquera and Michele Rayner – putting the state on-track to double the number of openly LGBTQ members of the state legislature in November. Currently just three openly LGBTQ people serve in the state House, including Representatives Carlos Guillermo Smith and Jennifer Webb, who won their uncontested primaries last night. State Representative Shevrin Jones, who is running for the Florida state Senate, also won his primary and will likely be the first out LGBTQ member of that chamber (full statement on Jones’ win here).
With victories for all the endorsed state House candidates and Jones in November, LGBTQ representation would increase from three to six in the state legislature, putting Florida among the states with the highest number of LGBTQ state legislators. Florida remains a “low-equality” state for LGBTQ people, according to the Movement Advancement Project, because of its broad “religious freedom” law and a lack of LGBTQ protections in key areas.
Florida is also considered a critical state for both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden – and who wins may come down to turnout. Pro-equality and LGBTQ voters inspired to turnout for LGBTQ state legislative candidates could increase support for up-ballot pro-equality candidates, including Biden.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about yesterday’s victories:
“Florida is witnessing a rainbow revolution, with an unprecedented number of openly LGBTQ state legislative candidates running for office and an opportunity to at least double LGBTQ representation come November. But this is about more than just the state legislature. These candidates can inspire pro-equality voters to turn out for them in record numbers, with the potential to influence which presidential candidate wins Florida and ultimately the White House. Florida voters must get out to vote for these LGBTQ candidates and elect a government more reflective of the people it serves – and their impact can be enormous.”
More information about Victory Fund and its candidates is available at victoryfund.org/ourcandidates. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.