Washington, DC – There are a record number of out LGBTQ candidates on the ballot tomorrow in Texas, the first primary of the 2022 midterm cycle. With 54 out LGBTQ candidates this year, the number of out LGBTQ people running has nearly doubled since 2020, when 28 out LGBTQ people ran for public office in Texas.
This pivotal election comes at the same time a slew of anti-LGBTQ laws and proposals are advancing in Texas, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s recent announcement that gender-affirming care for trans children would be treated like “child abuse.”
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about the election:
“I am deeply concerned about the onslaught of attacks on LGBTQ people, and especially trans people, here in Texas. However, I remain optimistic and inspired by the qualified out LGBTQ candidates running to represent our community and stand up against this hate. Tomorrow, our basic human rights are on the ballot. We have a responsibility to make our voices heard. The historic number of out LGBTQ candidates running is not just a symbol of hope for Texas’ LGBTQ community, it is a deafening rebuke to Governor Abbott and legislators bent on silencing us.”
There are currently just 31 out LGBTQ elected officials in Texas, six of whom serve in the Texas state legislature. With 20 out LGBTQ people running for state House and Senate seats this cycle, LGBTQ representation in the Texas state legislature could more than double this year.
To date, LGBTQ Victory Fund has endorsed 19 out LGBTQ candidates in the March 1 primary, including:
- Venton Jones, Texas House of Representatives. Venton will be the first out LGBTQ Black man elected to the Texas legislature.
- Shannon Baldwin, Harris County Criminal Court Judge. Shannon will continue to be a critical LGBTQ voice on the Harris County bench.
- Porscha Brown, Harris County Criminal Court of Law. Porscha will be the youngest judge ever elected in Harris County.
- Jason Cox, Harris County Probate Court. Jason will continue to be a critical LGBTQ voice on the Harris County bench.
- Jessica Gonzalez, Texas House of Representatives. Jessica will continue to defend the LGBTQ community in the Texas State House.
- Mary Gonzalez, Texas House of Representatives. Mary was the first out pansexual elected official in the country.
- Denise Hernández, Travis County Court at Law, No. 6. Denise will be the first out gay woman elected to a county court in Travis County.
- Ann Johnson, Texas State House of Representatives. Ann will continue to be a critical voice in the Texas legislature.
- Julie Johnson, Texas House of Representatives. Julie will continue to be a powerful voice for the LGBTQ community in Texas.
- Jolanda Jones, Texas State House of Representatives. Jolanda will be one of the first out LGBTQ Black members of the Texas legislature.
- Jim Kovach, Harris County Civil Court at Law. Jim will continue to be a critical LGBTQ voice on the Harris County bench.
- Sara Martinez, Dallas County Justice of the Peace. Sara will continue to be the first and only out LGBTQ Latina elected to the bench in Dallas County.
- Beau Miller, 190th Judicial District Court Judge. Beau will continue to bring important representation to Harris County.
- Tonya Parker, 116th District Court. Tonya was the first out LGBTQ Black elected official in the State of Texas.
- Jerry Simoneaux, Judge Probate Court. Jerry will continue to bring important representation to Harris County.
- Erin Zwiener, Texas House of Representatives. Erin is a founding member of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus.
More information about all of Victory Fund’s endorsed candidates is available at victoryfund.org/ourcandidates.
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.