Election News

Here are the 6 LGBTQ candidates to watch on election night

Nelson Araujo Jr. campaigns before the 2018 election.
Nelson Araujo campaigns before the 2018 election.Photo: Facebook/c

The 2018 midterms could turn out to be a historic election for LGBTQ candidates. There are more LGBTQ candidates on the ballot this year than ever before, and some several who could make history with an election night victory.

If you’re watching the returns on election night, here are the top LGBTQ candidates to look out for.

Nelson Araujo

Born to immigrant parents who migrated to the US from El Salvador, Araujo was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2014, where he was instrumental in defeating a discriminatory anti-transgender bathroom bill and was appointed Assistant Majority Leader.

Araujo is challenging Republican incumbent Barbara Cegavske for Nevada Secretary of State and could be bolstered by a “blue wave” on election day.

Araujo would be the first openly LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in Nevada, and the second out LGBTQ person elected Secretary of State in the US.

Tammy Baldwin

Tammy Baldwin Campaign

Baldwin made history in 2012 when she became the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the US Senate, and the first out lesbian elected to the Senate. Recent polls show Baldwin holds a double-digit lead over her Republican opponent, State Rep. Leah Vukmir.

Sharice Davids

Sharice Davids Sarah Toce

In 2016 Davids participated in the White House Fellowship Program during the Obama-Trump transition. The experience led her to get more involved in politics.

Davids defeated five candidates in the Democratic primary for Kansas’ third congressional district, with 37.3 percent of the vote. She now faces incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder, and Libertarian candidate Chris Clemmons.

The race is one of several battleground races that could shift control of the House from Republicans to Democrats. Recent polls show Davids leading Yoder by 9 to 12 percentage points.

Davids would be the first out lesbian Congressperson from Kansas and the first female Native American in Congress.

Christine Halquist

Christine Hallquist
Christine Hallquist Provided

Halquist, a former CEO of the Vermont Electric Coop, made history in 2015 when she became the first CEO in the country to publicly transition on the job. She did it again August when she became the first transgender candidate to be nominated for a governorship by a major party.

Now, she hopes to make history once more on election day by becoming the first transgender candidate elected statewide in Vermont, and the first trans governor in the United States.

Jared Polis

Jared-Polis
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (R-Colo.) AP

Elected to represent Colorado’s second congressional district in 2008, Polis has served five terms in the House and is a member of several important congressional committees.

Now he’s running to become the governor of Colorado. Recent polls show Polis running 12 points ahead of his Republican opponent.

Polis stands to become the first out gay governor of Colorado, and the second out governor in the country.

Kyrsten Sinema

kyrsten-sinema
Kyrsten Sinema Campaign website

Sinema made history this year when she became the first out bisexual candidate to win a major party nomination to run for the Senate. Now, she’s in a tight race for with Republican Martha McSally to represent Arizona.

Under attack for her anti-war protests and past comments about Arizona, Sinema’s lead has narrowed in recent weeks. If she wins, Sinema will be first out bisexual member of the US Senate, the second LGBTQ member of the Senate, and the first female senator from Arizona.

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