Election News

With last night’s election, a ‘rainbow wave’ of 144 LGBTQ candidates have won office this year

Hand wearing gay pride rainbow wristband making a power fist gesture in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, USA
Photo: Shutterstock

So far this year, 144 openly LGBTQ candidates won their races, according to Victory Fund, an organization which supports LGBTQ political candidates nationwide. In addition, 12 races involving LGBTQ candidates remain undecided or are headed to runoff elections.

A total of 382 known out LGBTQ candidates ran in political races this year. Among last night’s winners were eight bisexuals, 20 lesbians and nine trans women, including Danica Roem who serves in Virginia’s House of Delegates, making her the first-ever trans person to win re-election for a state legislature in the U.S.

Related: Trans lawmaker Danica Roem’s GOP opponent is an anti-LGBTQ extremist

Victory Fund endorsed 176 of the candidates — as such, 63.1% of the candidates they endorsed ended up winning. While more men ran than women, women ended up winning at a higher rate of 46.2% compared to men’s win rate of  36.9%

Here’s a breakdown of the candidates’ gender identity and sexual orientation:

A chart breaking down the gender and sexual orientation of the LGBTQ political candidates who won in 2019.
A chart breaking down the gender and sexual orientation of the LGBTQ political candidates who won in 2019.

Interestingly, 83.2% of LGBTQ candidates ran as Democrats and only 2.4% ran as Republicans — hardly surprising considering the Republican’s party anti-LGBTQ platform. Some LGBTQ candidates even won in red states like Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, and Missouri.

“Anti-LGBTQ attacks on our candidates almost universally backfired,” said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a statement. She added:

LGBTQ candidates are winning elections in numbers and in parts of the country thought unthinkable a decade or two ago. LGBTQ people are in every community – we are people of color, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities – and we come from families both liberal and conservative.

This beautiful diversity provides an opportunity to connect on some level with every single voter in America. That is the reason LGBTQ candidates are winning in unprecedented numbers, and this will only accelerate in the years ahead.

Victory Fund says there are currently 765 openly LGBTQ elected officials serving nationwide.

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