America can elect more LGBTQ+ candidates than in any other odd-number election year
Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ+ Victory Fund shared seven LGBTQ+ Election Night stories to watch and announced it will live track results for its 166 LGBTQ+ endorsed candidates on Election Night. Victory Fund will provide live updates on the state of the races at victoryfund.org/results2023 as well as an overview of how LGBTQ+ candidates are faring nationwide.
In 2023, a record-breaking 514 out LGBTQ+ people ran for office and at least 312 will appear on the ballot on November 7 – the most ever in an odd-number election year. Victory Fund also endorsed 253 LGBTQ+ candidates, more than in any previous odd-year election cycle. You can view the demographics of 2023 candidates here and learn about the candidates poised to make history here.
Below are seven LGBTQ+ storylines to watch on Election Night:
1. Will America elect more LGBTQ+ candidates than in any other odd-number election year?
With at least 312 out LGBTQ+ candidates on the ballot next Tuesday, American voters can elect more LGBTQ+ candidates in 2023 than in any other odd-number election year in U.S. history. The previous record, set during the 2021 election cycle, saw 184 LGBTQ+ candidates elected throughout the year. Fifty-two LGBTQ+ candidates have already won in 2023 – requiring 132 more to win on Election Night to surpass the 2021 odd-number election year record.
2. Will Danica Roem become the first out trans state senator ever elected in the South?
Danica Roem – who was the first out trans person to win and serve in a state legislature in the U.S. when she won in 2017 – is again running against an anti-LGBTQ opponent who is campaigning on an anti-trans platform. Danica’s opponent, Bill Woolf, has been using his campaign to champion anti-trans bills, as well as spreading toxic anti-trans rhetoric in his television and radio ads. If elected, Danica will be the first out trans person elected to a state senate in the South.
3. Will LGBTQ+ candidates help decide a pro-equality majority in the Virginia state House?
In addition to Danica Roem’s historic state senate run, LGBTQ+ candidates are running for key seats in the state house. Three currently serving out LGBTQ+ members of the Virginia House of Delegates are running for reelection this year: Kelly Convirs-Fowler (District 96), Marcia Price (District 85) and Mark Sickles (District 17). Incumbent Adam Ebbin (District 30) is running for reelection to the state senate.
Non-incumbent candidates include Laura Jane Cohen (District 15), Joshua Cole (District 65), Rozia Henson (District 19) and Adele McClure (District 2). Cole’s race will determine whether Virginia has a pro-equality and pro-choice majority in the State House.
Virginia is considered the last refuge for reproductive healthcare in the South.
4. Will New Jersey elect the first out LGBTQ+ woman to the state Assembly?
Former County Prosecutor Luanne Peterpaul (District 11) previously served as Chair of the Board for Garden State Equality, as well as working to defend challenges to New Jersey’s state law prohibiting conversion therapy and played a significant role in bringing marriage equality to the state. Peterpaul would be the first out LGBTQ+ woman elected to the state Assembly if she wins.
5. Will Mississippi elect Fabian Nelson as the first out LGBTQ+ person to the state legislature?
Mississippi is one of two states that has never elected an out LGBTQ+ state legislator. Though Fabian’s primary opponent is now running a write-in campaign against him, Fabian Nelson (District 66) is virtually guaranteed to make LGBTQ+ history on Election Night. He will become the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to the Mississippi state legislature.
Additionally Justin Lofton, running for the Pike County Board of Supervisors, will be the first out LGBTQ+ county supervisor in the state of Mississippi when elected.
Louisiana is the last state in the U.S. that has not elected an out LGBTQ+ state legislator.
6. Will Rue Landau will make history as the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to the Philadelphia City Council?
A longtime LGBTQ+ activist and political leader, Rue Landau is on the cusp of history. With no strong opposition in the general, Rue is close to becoming the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to the Philadelphia City Council.
7. Will LGBTQ+ school board candidates win as anti-LGBTQ activists and politicians protest inclusion of trans students in schools?
School boards across the nation have faced protests and riotous meetings from anti-LGBTQ activists who oppose trans inclusion in public schools and politicians are increasingly using trans students as a political weapon. In this environment, 23 Victory Fund endorsed LGBTQ+ candidates for school board positions will be on the November ballot. Among them is Amelia McMillan, running in York, Pennsylvania, who would become one of just 14 out gender non-conforming people serving in any position in the entire U.S. Sheena Barnes, who previously made history as the first out LGBTQ+ woman of color elected to a school board in Northwest Ohio, is running for reelection to the Toledo Board of Education. Dr. Karen Bolton is running to retake her seat as Bremerton School Board Director.
Robyn Lady and Kyle McDaniel are running for seats on the Fairfax County School Board, which has furthered pro-equality policies. Incumbent Karl Frisch is also running for reelection to the Fairfax County School Board.
10 LGBTQ+ school board candidates have already won in 2023.
About LGBTQ+ Victory Fund
LGBTQ+ Victory Fund works to achieve and sustain equality by increasing the number of out 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 LGBTQ+ candidates win local, state and federal elections.