Both Harris and Brandon Thomas would become the state’s first openly LGBTQ state legislators
Washington, DC – Today Torrey Harris won a competitive Democratic primary for Tennessee state House District 90 and is on-track to be among the first openly LGBTQ members of the Tennessee state legislature. Harris and LGBTQ candidate Brandon Thomas – who was unopposed in the Democratic primary for state House District 49 – will both be on the ballot in November.
Harris is in a safe Democratic district and is likely to beat the incumbent who was removed from the Democratic party earlier this year, in part because of his anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice votes. Thomas will face anti-LGBTQ incumbent state Rep. Mike Sparks. Both would become the first openly LGBTQ people ever elected to the Tennessee state legislature.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about the victories:
“Tennessee is one of just five states in the entire nation to have never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator – but Torrey and Brandon will change that come November. Yet this is about more than shattering a rainbow ceiling. At a time when protests over racism and police brutality are inspiring the nation, both Torrey and Brandon are perfectly positioned to take that grassroots energy and turn it into legislation that can make lasting change. There are too few openly LGBTQ Black state legislators and we are thrilled that Torrey and Brandon will join their ranks soon.”
In addition to Tennessee, Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana and Mississippi have never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator. Of the currently serving LGBTQ state legislators, just 14 are Black, according to LGBTQ Victory Institute’s 2020 Out for America report, which was released in June.
More information about Victory Fund and its candidates is available on its website 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.