Washington, DC – Tonight Keturah Herron (she/they) won the Kentucky Special Election for House District 42. With this victory, Herron is now the first out LGBTQ person ever elected to the Kentucky state House. There are currently 13 out LGBTQ elected officials in Kentucky. Herron will be the only out LGBTQ person serving in the state legislature and one of just 25 out LGBTQ Black state legislators anywhere in the United States. In the final days before today’s election, Victory Fund and C-FAIR provided on-the-ground campaign support and assisted in get out the vote efforts (photo for media use here).
Herron previously worked for the ACLU of Kentucky, where they worked to pass Breonna’s Law, which bans no-knock warrants in the city of Louisville. Now, she intends to leverage this experience and champion a variety of policies, including advancing voting rights, increasing the minimum wage, enacting criminal justice reform and improving access to education.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, issued the following statement about their win:
“This is a momentous night for Kentucky, especially for LGBTQ people and Black people who have lived without equitable representation in the state legislature for far too long. Keturah is a seasoned community organizer and policy expert. She has the experience – and political stamina – to advocate for all Kentuckians and stand up against the deluge of anti-LGBTQ legislation perpetrated by anti-equality lawmakers. Her election is a strong rebuke to this hate.”
Chris Hartman, Executive Director of the Kentucky LGBTQ group C-FAIR, released the following statement:
“We couldn’t be more excited about tonight’s historic election of Kentucky’s first openly-LGBTQ state representative, Keturah Herron. Representative-Elect Herron will fill a nearly 15-year gap in LGBTQ representation in the Kentucky General Assembly, and we need her now more than ever before. With the Kentucky House poised to vote on an anti-trans sports bill in the next several days, Representative-Elect Herron will fight fiercely for transgender kids and all LGBTQ Kentuckians in this critical time.”
While Herron is now the first out LGBTQ member of the Kentucky state House, in 2003, Ernesto Scorsone made history as the first out LGBTQ member of the Kentucky state Senate when he came out in a public speech.
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to achieve and sustain equality by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government while ensuring they reflect the diversity of those they serve. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.
C-FAIR, the Committee for Fairness And Individual Rights, is the Political Action Committee of the Fairness Campaign.