Victory Fund Endorses 14 LGBTQ Candidates In Local Races Across the Nation

Washington, DC – Today Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 14 candidates in local races. Victory Fund is working to increase the number of LGBTQ elected officials in state and local governments – particularly in states with low levels of equality and little LGBTQ representation.

“With the federal government and dozens of state legislatures working to rollback LGBTQ equality, LGBTQ elected officials in local government are more critical than ever,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of Victory Fund. “These 14 candidates – running for mayor, city councils, school boards and other local positions – will work to advance policies inclusive of our community, and mitigate the effects of anti-equality efforts from other levels of government. We are proud to endorse these values-driven leaders and look forward to helping them win their races.”

Among the newly endorsed candidates is Atlanta City Council candidate Liliana Bakhtiari, who would become the first openly LGBTQ Iranian-American to win elected office in the U.S. Also endorsed is Cincinnati Board of Education candidate Ryan Messer, who would become its first openly LGBTQ parent if elected.

Endorsed Candidates

Vernetta Alston, Durham City Council, Ward 3 (OH)

Liliana Bakhtiari, Atlanta City Council, District 5 (GA)

Guyleen Castriotta, Broomfield City Council, Ward 5 (CO)

Dean Dafis, Maplewood Township Committee (NJ)

Paul Durham, Tucson City Council, Ward 3 (AZ)

Renee Hevia, Cincinnati Board of Education (OH)

Christy Holstege, Palm Springs City Council, At-large (CA)

Nathan Jeffries, Spokane County Water District 3, Position 2 (WA)

Lydia Lavelle, Mayor of Carrboro (NC)

Josh McNair, Fulton County Commission, District 4 (GA)

Ryan Messer, Cincinnati Board of Education (OH)

Matthew Miller, Newton School Committee, Ward 8 (MA)

Ryan Richman, Manchester Board of Aldermen, Ward 2 (NH)

Karen Stegman, Chapel Hill Town Council, At-large (NC)

Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.


Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund

Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBT Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels of government.