Our big LGBTQ list of how Dems could kick it in the midterms

Rainbow and Texas flags
Photo: Shutterstock

So far this primary season, Democrats have nominated at least 16 LGBTQ people for federal office in both houses of Congress across 11 different states.

Democrats have also nominated two out women for congressional seats in Florida and Arizona.

Of the 11 LGBTQ candidates for statewide office, four are for governor (Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont). All four represent a different segment of the LGBTQ community.

While the DNC is touting “More LGBTQ Federal Democratic Nominees than Ever Before,” LGBTQ Nation takes a look at the headliners. Below is a snapshot of some of the newly nominated LGBTQ candidates so far this primary season. 

In Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema won the Democratic nomination for senator and is the first openly bisexual senatorial nominee for a major party in history.

If elected, Joan Greene would become the second openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Arizona and unseat vocal homophobe Rep. Andy BiggsDaria Lohman would be the first openly trans person to be elected in Arizona if she wins her seat as well.

Moving over to Florida, Lauren Baer would become Florida’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress, while Jennifer Webb would take the title of the first openly queer woman elected to the Florida Legislature.

If elected, Felicia Stewart would become Alabama’s second openly lesbian legislator. Neil Rafferty would become the only openly gay legislator in Alabama’s House of Representatives and the state’s first openly LGBTQ veteran legislator.

In Arkansas, Tippi McCullough faces no Republican opposition in November. She will become the only openly LGBTQ person in the Arkansas state legislature. McCullough’s win comes 5 years after she was forced to resign her teaching job because she was LGBTQ.

In California, Ricardo Lara might become California’s first LGBTQ statewide elected official, and the only LGBTQ person of color elected to statewide office in the nation.

If Katie Hill surpasses Republican Steve Knight, she will become California’s first openly LGBTQ congresswoman. Additional LGBTQ candidates in California include Joy Silver, Sonia Aery, Jackie Smith, and Sunday Gover.

If he wins this November, Colorado’s Jared Polis would become the first openly gay governor elected in the nation. Also in the state, Alex Valdez would expand the already diverse LGBTQ caucus of the Colorado House of Representatives, adding an important LGBTQ Latinx voice to the table. And Brianna Titone would become the state’s first openly transgender legislator.

Brianna Titone

Moving over to Georgia, Matthew Wilson would join numerous openly LGBTQ officials pushing back on Georgia Republicans’ anti-LGBTQ legislative agenda.

Indiana boasts three candidates who would all make history together as the first openly LGBTQ members of the body. They are: Thomasina MarsiliJoe Lannan and Sarah StiversIf elected, J.D. Ford would become the first out member of the Indiana state Senate.

In neighboring Illinois, Lamont Robinson would become the first openly gay African-American state legislator in Illinois history. Maggie Trevor would become the 2nd openly LGBTQ woman in the Illinois General Assembly, joining Kelly Cassidy.

There are other notable state races to watch – outlined below.


Sharice Davids: If elected, Davids will become Kansas’ first openly LGBTQ congresswoman in history. She could also make history as one of the first two  Native American women to be seated in Congress.


Gabriel Acevero: If elected, Acevero will become the first openly gay Afro-Latino elected to the Maryland General Assembly.

Mary Washington: If elected, Washington will become the first LGBTQ person of color in the Maryland State Senate.


Dana Nessel: If elected, Nessel will become Michigan’s first openly LGBTQ statewide elected official and the country’s second LGBTQ Attorney General. Nessel joins Michigan’s first entirely female statewide candidate slate led by gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer.

Jeremy Moss: If elected, Moss will become Michigan’s only openly gay state Senator. He was previously the second openly gay member of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Garnet Lewis: If elected, Lewis will become Michigan’s only openly LGBTQ female State Senator.

Angie Craig Angie Craig for Congress


Angie Craig: If elected, Craig will become the first LGBTQ member of Congress from Minnesota. Her opponent, Rep. Jason Lewis recently made news when his comments comparing LGBTQ people to rapists came to light. He has also made anti-woman and racist comments.


Kathy Ellis: If elected, Ellis will become Missouri’s first openly LGBTQ Congresswoman in history.

Ryan Dillon: If elected, Dillon will become Missouri’s only openly LGBTQ State Senator.

Ian Mackey: If elected, Mackey would become the third openly LGBTQ elected official in the Missouri House of Representatives.


Amelia Marquez: If elected in November, Amelia will not only flip another legislative from red-to-blue, but also become Montana’s first openly transgender legislator, and dependant on other elections, the nation’s second openly transgender state legislator.


Nelson Araujo: If elected, Araujo will not only flip the Secretary of State’s office from red to blue, but would also become the state’s first openly LGBTQ statewide official and one of the first LGBTQ people of color elected to statewide office in the nation.


Joshua Boschee: If elected, Boschee will become one of the youngest statewide officials in North Dakota and the state’s first openly LGBTQ statewide official.


Rick Neal: If elected, Neal will beocme the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Ohio. Neal will be challenging NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers.

Nickie Antonio: Antonio became the first openly LGBTQ candidate elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010. If elected, she will also become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Ohio state Senate.

Ohio Democrats also nominated seven additional LGBTQ candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, including: Melinda Miller, John McManus, Zach Dickerson, Rebecca Howard, Jeremy Blake, Garrett Baldwin, and Taylor Sappington.


Malcolm Kenyatta: Kenyatta overcame an overtly bigoted smear campaign and if elected, will become the Pennsylvania House’s first openly LGBTQ person of color. Kenyatta also served a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention hosted by the DNC.

Kristen Seale: Seale is the first openly queer Democratic nominee in Pennsylvania. If elected, she will be the first openly LGBTQ woman in the Pennsylvania state House.

Daniel Smith Jr.: Smith is challenging Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, one of the most anti-LGBTQ state legislators in Pennsylvania, who sued to prevent a gay couple from marrying, introduced legislation banning same-sex marriage and said openly gay Rep. Brian Sims was a “lying homosexual” and “in open rebellion against God’s law.”


Jamie McLeod-Skinner:  McLeod-Skinner was the first out lesbian elected to the Santa Clara City Council and will be taking on Congressman Greg Walden, former chair of the NRCC. If elected, McLeod Skinner would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Oregon.

Jamie McLeod Jamie McLeod for Congress


North Carolina Democrats have nominated a candidate in every single legislative district this year, including more LGBTQ people than ever, including: Brandon Anderson, Allison Dahle, Marcia Morgan, Dan Whitten, Deb Butler, Linda Bennett, and Cecil Brockman.


Lupe Valdez: Lupe Valdez became the first openly lesbian gubernatorial nominee of any major party. If elected, she would also be the first openly LGBTQ person of color to serve as governor and the first Latinx to serve as governor of Texas.

Steven Kirkland: If elected, Kirkland will become the first openly LGBTQ member of the Texas Supreme Court and first openly LGBTQ statewide official in Texas.

Gina Ortiz Jones: If elected, Ortiz Jones would be Congress’ first openly LGBTQ woman of color and first openly LGBTQ Asian American woman.

Eric Holguin:  If elected, Holguin would become Congress’ first openly LGBTQ Latinx congressman and the first openly gay Latinx man in Congress.

Lorie Burch: If elected, Burch would be among the first LGBTQ congresswomen from Texas.

Julie Johnson: If elected, Johnson will become the 3rd openly LGBTQ member of the Texas House of Representatives.

Mark Phariss: If elected, Pharris will become the first openly LGBTQ state Senator in Texas.


Derek Kitchen: If elected in November, Kitchen will be the only openly LGBTQ member of the Utah state legislature.

Christine Hallquist
Christine Hallquist Provided


Christine Hallquist: Hallquist is the first openly transgender gubernatorial nominee for any major party in the history of the United States. If elected, Hallquist will become the first openly transgender governor, and the highest ranking transgender elected official in the nation.


Claire Wilson: If elected, Wilson will become the third  member of the Washington State Senate’s LGBTQ Caucus.

Kathy Gillespie: If elected, Kathy will become the fifth member of the Washington House of Representatives’ LGBTQ Caucus.

The only thing missing this midterm election cycle? The voters. Can they pull it off?

Don't forget to share:

Thanks to his racist dogwhistles, Trump is the Democrats’ best fundraiser

Previous article

Conversion therapy bill dies at the hand of gay politician in California

Next article