Victory Fund Endorses 35 More LGBTQ Candidates for 2018, Spotlights Four New Historic Races

Three new Congressional endorsements in Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania

Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 35 more LGBTQ candidates, raising to 109 the total number of candidates endorsed this cycle. Four previously endorsed candidates – San Francisco mayoral candidate Mark Leno, Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon, Pennsylvania state House candidate Malcolm Kenyatta, and Kentucky state House candidate Josh Mers – were upgraded to Spotlight status, a designation given to state or local candidates in history-making races. Spotlight candidates receive additional support and services from Victory Fund to ensure they win on Election Day.

U.S. Congressional candidates Ashley Lunkenheimer (PA-5), Pat Spearman (NV-4) and Matt Heinz (AZ-2) were awarded Game Changer status because of their potential to have an outsized impact on equality at the federal level. North Dakota Secretary of State candidate Josh Boschee was also awarded Game Changer status because of the potential statewide impact. Thirty-one additional candidates in state and local races received endorsements – having demonstrated to Victory Fund both their viability and their commitment to pushing for LGBTQ equality once in office.

“We have an unprecedented number of LGBTQ leaders running for office this cycle and are on-track to endorse more candidates than at any time in our 27-year history,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Our candidates are the authentic, values-driven leaders America desperately needs right now. They are leaders committed to equality, but also to addressing the bread and butter issues that are too often ignored by today’s politicians. Victories for our candidates on Election Night can have a profound impact on millions of Americans’ lives.”

The complete list of today’s endorsements is below.

Candidates Upgraded to Spotlight Races

Park Cannon, Georgia House of Representatives, District 58
Malcolm Kenyatta, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 181
Mark Leno, Mayor of San Francisco
Josh Mers, Kentucky House of Representatives, District 88

Game Changer Endorsement

Josh Boschee, North Dakota Secretary of State
Matt Heinz, U.S. House of Representatives, AZ-02
Ashley Lunkenheimer, U.S. House of Representatives, PA-05
Pat Spearman, U.S. House of Representatives, NV-04

Endorsed Candidates

Shannon Baldwin, Harris County (TX) Criminal Court, No. 4
Jennifer Campbell, San Diego City Council, District 2
Andres Cano, Arizona House of Representatives, District 3
Nicole Carry, Norfolk (VA) School Board, Ward 1
Allison Dahle, North Carolina House of Representatives, District 11
Julia Fahl, Mayor of Lambertville (NJ)
Shay Franco-Clausen, San Jose (CA) City Council, District 9
Kathy Gillespie, Washington House of Representatives, District 18, Position 2
Evan Glass, Montgomery County (MD) Council, At-Large
Reed Gusciora, Mayor of Trenton (NJ)
Mark Kinion, Arkansas House of Representatives, District 86
Mark Kleinschmidt, Orange County (NC) Clerk of Superior Court
Cedric McMinn, Florida House of Representatives, District 109
Elvin Montero, Trenton (NJ) City Council
Mark Phariss, Texas State Senate, District 8
Brad Schwartz, New York State Senate, District 7
Kristin Seale, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 168
Melissa Sklarz, New York State Assembly, District 30
Matthew Wilson, Georgia House of Representatives, District 80
Ahmad Zahra, Fullerton (CA) City Council, District 5

Endorsed Incumbent Candidates

Liz Barrett, Frederick County (MD) Board of Education
Deb Butler, North Carolina House of Representatives, District 18
Bryan Caletka, Davie (FL) City Council, District 1
Sabrina Cervantes, California State Assembly, District 60
Cesar Chavez, Arizona House of Representatives, District 29
Anne Kaiser, Maryland House of Delegates, District 14
Christine Kilduff, Washington House of Representatives, District 28
Jamie Pedersen, Washington State Senate, District 43
Jeffrey Prang, Los Angeles County Assessor
Joaquin Rivera, Alameda County (CA) Board of Education
Renitta Shannon, Georgia House of Representatives, District 84

This is the sixth round of endorsements by Victory Fund for the 2018 election cycle. All 109 openly LGBTQ endorsed candidates can be seen 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.