Victory Fund Endorses Eliz Markowitz and Shawn Terry In Key Texas State House Races for 2019 and 2020

Victory Fund also endorsed three more openly LGBTQ candidates for Houston City Council

 Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund – the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office – announced its endorsements of Eliz Markowitz and Shawn Terry for Texas state House, and Nelvin Adriatico, Shelley Kennedy and Isabel Longoria for Houston City Council. Earlier this year, Victory Fund also endorsed Robert Gallegos and Nick Hellyar in their races for Houston City Council.

Markowitz received the organization’s Spotlight endorsement in her 2019 special election race for an open seat in the Texas state House. The race is receiving outsized attention because it is held by a retiring Republican and is key to Democratic efforts to take back the state House in 2020. Democrats need to gain nine seats to win the chamber, and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz won Markowitz’s district in 2018 by just three points.

Terry’s 2020 race is also considered critical to securing a Democratic majority. He is off to a strong start – raising more in contributions than any other 2020 Texas state legislative candidate in a red-leaning district that is shifting rapidly toward Democrats in recent elections. While Victory Fund is non-partisan, the Republican-led Texas state legislature has introduced dozens of anti-LGBTQ bills in the past several years. A Democratic majority in the state House would almost certainly kill any anti-LGBTQ legislative efforts.

The Texas endorsees were five of 48 openly LGBTQ candidates who received endorsements from Victory Fund today. The organization has endorsed 172 candidates for 2019 – the most candidates ever in an odd-numbered election year – and six candidates for 2020.

“The political winds are changing in Texas – and openly LGBTQ state legislative candidates will play a significant role in determining whether Democrats take back the state House in 2020,” said former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, now President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “After years of relentless attacks on the LGBTQ community by this state legislature, we are on the verge of electing a historic number of LGBTQ leaders who will fight on behalf of Texans, not against them.”

The complete list of candidate endorsements announced today is below:

Spotlight Endorsement

Eliz Markowitz, Texas House of Repres­­­­­entatives, District 28

Texas General Candidates

Nelvin Adriatico, Houston City Council, District J

Shawn Terry, Texas House of Representatives, District 108

Shelley Kennedy, Houston City Council, District C

Isabel Longoria, Houston City Council, District H

General Candidates

N.J. Akbar, Akron (OH) Public Schools Board of Education, At-Large

Chauntyll Allen, St. Paul (MN) Board of Education (ISD 624), At-Large

Sheena Barnes, Toledo (OH) Public Schools Board of Education, At-Large

Karen Bolton, Bremerton (WA) School District No. 100-C

Merisa Bowers, Gahanna City (OH) Council, At-Large

Robert Case, Framingham City (MA) Council District 5 ­­

Alison Coombs, Aurora City (CO) Council, Ward V

Benjamin Dickens, Roeland Park (KS) City Council, Ward 2

Philip Du, Dutchess County (NY) Legislature, District 15

Andrew Gilchrist, Perinton Town (NY) Supervisor

Joseph Geierman, Mayor of Doraville (GA)

Sophia Hawes-Tingey, Midvale City (UT) Council, District 2

Justin Gould, University Heights (OH) City Council, At-Large

Meredith Hegg, Upper Darby (PA) School Director, At-Large

Jason Hoskins, Southfield City (MI) Council, At-Large

Meghan Huryk, Neptune City (NJ) Borough Council

Amani Johnson, Southfield City (MI) Council, At-Large

Mike McFall, Hazel Park City (MI) Council, At-Large

David Neill, Upper Darby (PA) School Director, At-Large

Zachary Niemiec, North Tonawanda (NY) Common Council, Ward 2

Corina Pfeil, Kenmore City (WA) Council, Position 7

Donna Price, Albemarle County (VA) Board of Supervisors, Scottsville District

Jerred Price, Memphis City (TN) Council, District 7

John Rach, University Heights (OH) City Council, At-Large

Air Rhodes, Beacon (NY) City Council, Ward 2

Holly Ryan, Newton City Council, Ward 8

Beth Salkind, Pennsylvania Magisterial District Judge, District 32-2-52

Greg Smith, City and Borough of Juneau (AK) Assembly, District 1

Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews, Glen Cove City (NY) Council, At-Large

Cesar Stewart-Morales, Framingham City (MA) Council, District 2

Lori Trent, Upper Arlington (OH) Board of Education, At-Large

Richard Trojanski, Maple Heights (OH) City Council, District 6

Damien Warsavage, Upper Darby (PA) School Director, At-Large

Andy Yeoman, Doraville (GA) City Council, District 1

Incumbent Candidates

P.J. Brennan, College Park (MD) City Council, District 2

Jane Campbell, Davidson Town (NC) Council, At-Large

Jane Cera, Clinton Township (OH) Trustee

James Demetriades, Cromwell (CT) Town Council, At-Large

Mitra Nelson, St. Paul (MN) City Council, Ward 4

Ryan O’Malley, Malden (MA) City Council, Ward 4

Henry Schwaller, Hays (KS) City Commission, At-Large

Jordan Sears, Gold Bar (WA) City Council, Position 5

Deb Steele, Clinton Township (OH) Fiscal Officer

This is Victory Fund’s tenth round of endorsements for the 2019 and 2020 election cycles. The organization has now endorsed 178 openly LGBTQ people 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.