Victory Fund Endorses 15 More LGBTQ Candidates for 2019; Mississippi Can Elect LGBTQ State Legislator for First Time

Mississippi is one of four states to have never elected an LGBTQ state legislator

Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 15 new openly LGBTQ candidates for the 2019 election cycle. Among the endorsees is Mississippi state Senate candidate Carlton Smith, who received a Spotlight endorsement, and if elected would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the state legislature. Mississippi is one of just four states to have never elected an LGBTQ state legislator. This election cycle, Victory Fund is working to increase LGBTQ representation in local governments throughout the United States as 2020 approaches.

“This year we can elect an unprecedented number of LGBTQ leaders, including mayors, city councilmembers and judicial candidates who can strengthen LGBTQ political power in cities big and small,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “We are determined to elect the first openly LGBTQ state legislator in Mississippi, Carlton Smith, whose victory would leave just three states to have never elected an LGBTQ state legislator. There are historic opportunities to increase LGBTQ representation across the country this election cycle and our newly endorsed candidates are prepared to do it.”

Alaska, Louisiana, Delaware and Tennessee have also never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator.

Victory Fund Spotlight candidates are priority candidates for the organization and receive additional resources and support.

A complete list of candidate endorsements announced today is below:

Spotlight Candidate:

Carlton Smith, Mississippi State Senate, District 10


General Candidates:

Emily Benedict, Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, District 7

Connor Berdy, Warren (MI) City Council, At-Large

Russ Bradford, Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, District 13

Tiffany Cabán, Queens County (NY) District Attorney

Linh Hoang, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Providence District

Saige Martin, Raleigh (NC) City Council, District D

David McMurry, Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, District 9

Greg Parks, Alexandria (VA) Clerk of the Circuit Court

Victor Sanchez, Monroe County (NY) Legislature, District 21

Betty Valencia, Orange City Council, At-Large


Incumbent Candidates:

Michael Fenton, Springfield (MA) City Council, Ward 2

Jillian Johnson, Durham (NC) City Council, At-Large

Dan O’Malley, Lakewood (OH) City Council, Ward 4

Michael Sutphin, Blacksburg (VA) Town Council, At-Large

This is Victory Fund’s sixth round of endorsements for the 2019 election cycle. The organization has now endorsed 98 openly LGBTQ candidates across the country.

More information about the candidates is available at 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.