Today LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed openly gay Democrat Ross LaJeunesse for U.S. Senate.
Ross would be the first openly LGBTQ man and just the third LGBTQ person ever elected to the U.S. Senate. He is running in a multi-candidate Democratic primary for the seat held by Senator Susan Collins from Maine, considered a critical pickup in Democrats’ efforts to retake the U.S. Senate in November. While LGBTQ Victory Fund is non-partisan, we’ve recognized Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hostility toward pro-LGBTQ legislation. Advancing LGBTQ issues through the U.S. Senate requires him losing the majority.
Both in government and the private sector, Ross has championed human rights issues. He worked on civil rights and national and community service legislation during his time as an advisor to Senators George Mitchell and Edward Kennedy and as Deputy Chief of Staff to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. While with Senator Kennedy, Ross worked on an early draft of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. Later as Head of International Relations at Google, he was responsible for the company’s decision to stop censoring search results in China – a momentous victory for human rights advocates in the country. Ross continues his human rights work by serving on the board of directors for LGBTQ Victory Institute – which works to build and support a pipeline of LGBTQ public leaders in the U.S. and around the world. Victory Institute is a sister organization to Victory Fund.
“A leadership change in the U.S. Senate is essential to securing federal LGBTQ equality legislation – and Ross is the candidate best-positioned to defeat Susan Collins and remove Mitch McConnell as majority leader,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “I know Ross well, and whether in government or the private sector, he consistently puts people and principles ahead of politics and self-interest. That track record will be a defining contrast between him and Senator Collins, who continues to put party before country with her impeachment trial votes and support for the Trump agenda. Ross will restore common sense and principled leadership to the U.S. Senate seat from Maine. That he will make history in the process – becoming America’s first openly LGBTQ man elected to the U.S. Senate – will only make the victory more satisfying.”
“I’d be proud to be the first openly gay man in the United States Senate and I am deeply honored to receive this endorsement,” Ross said. “Victory Fund is changing the face of public service in the United States by empowering more elected officials to serve openly and honestly. Mainers believe in those values and I’ll be a fighter for equality and justice in the U.S. Senate.”
The Democratic primary race for Senator Collins’ seat is a crowded one that is historic for its LGBTQ diversity, which includes two other LGBTQ candidates: bisexual candidate Betsy Sweet and non-binary candidate Bre Kidman. Ross received the endorsement because of his expansive resume, skilled and experienced campaign team, and the strength of his fundraising to date.
Including Ross LaJeunesse, Victory Fund has endorsed nine non-incumbent congressional candidates so far for the 2020 cycle, including John Blair, Georgette Gomez, Pat Hackett, Jon Hoadley, Mondaire Jones, Tracy Mitrano, Gina Ortiz Jones and Ritchie Torres. Victories for all of them would double the number of openly LGBTQ members of Congress.
More information about the candidates is available at victoryfund.org/ourcandidates. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.