More than 574 LGBTQ candidates were on general election ballots this year according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund. Here are some of the highlights.
NEW YORK. Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones were elected in New York, making them the first openly gay, black members of Congress. “In June, Jones won the primary to replace retiring Rep. Nita Lowey in New York’s 17th District, and Torres won the primary to replace retiring Rep. José Serrano in the 15th District. Decision Desk HQ declared that both men will win those races Tuesday night.”
Jabari Brisport won election to the state senate from Brooklyn’s 25th District. “Brisport beat out Assembly Member Tremaine Wright for the Democratic nominee. He will be the first openly queer person of color to join the New York Legislature.”
Said Brisport: “My first interaction with the NY State Senate was trying to get them to pass same sex marriage around 11 years ago, and when it didn’t pass I really felt like I wasn’t being seen as a person, I felt like I was a second class citizen.It’s important to me that people like me, other queer people of color, feel like they’re seen and feel like they’re represented in NY politics.”
DELAWARE. Sarah McBride won her state senate race, making her the first and only openly transgender state senator in the U.S. and the country’s highest-ranking transgender official.
COLORADO. Brianna Titone overcame an onslaught of vile transphobic ads to win her election for Colorado State House, District 27 with an increased majority of 2,280 over GOP opponent Vicki Pyne.
KANSAS. Stephanie Byers was elected to her state house seat in Kansas. Byers isthe first trans person of Native American heritage to be elected to any state legislature, according to projected results in Kansas.
Said Harris: “I’m just shocked at the amount of people who were ready to see something different… I think that for a long time we had a representative who really truly believed in his moral self…They truly felt that I will make some type of difference and I’m just so thankful that our voters really truly feel that way. I’m going to do all that I possibly can just to make sure that they get what they went and voted for — they get somebody who is going to advocate for public education, for healthcare, women’s rights, for LGBT rights and for criminal justice reform.”
Eddie Mannis, a gay Republican, defeated Virginia Couch for Tennessee State House District 18.
OKLAHOMA. Mauree Turner became the first openly non-binary person ever elected to a state legislature in the United States, winning their race for the Oklahoma House.
Said Annise Parker, President & CEO for LGBTQ Victory Fund: “Of all the states to achieve a milestone political moment for non-binary people, few would have thought it would be Oklahoma, where there are so few LGBTQ elected officials. But Mauree ran a tireless campaign focused on the issues that matter to their district while also being authentic and open about who they are. Mauree is now a trailblazer for non-binary people and their courage to run openly will inspire more non-binary people to pursue careers in elected office.”
VERMONT. Taylor Small became the first out transgender person ever elected to the Vermont state legislature. “Small, with both the Progressive and Democratic nomination, garnered 2,423 votes, or 29.59% of the total, in the two seat Chittenden 6-7 district, according to unofficial results on the Vermont Secretary of State Election website. She came in second behind incumbent Democrat Hal Colston, who won 2,551 votes, or 31.16% of the total.”
FLORIDA. Shevrin Jones became the first openly LGBTQ person ever elected to the Florida State Senate. Jones was the target of homophobic attacks and survived a bout with COVID-19.
Said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund: “Shevrin shattered a long-standing political barrier for LGBTQ candidates in Florida and his victory will resonate far beyond the boundaries of his state. Shevrin will be one of just two Black gay men serving in state senates and his victory is certain to inspire more Black LGBTQ leaders to step up and run themselves. The politics of division and hatred failed in this race and gave way to a government that is more representative of the people it serves.”
Michele Rayner-Goolsby made history as the first openly Black queer women ever elected in Florida-at any level, winning her race for the Florida House.
GEORGIA. Kim Jackson won her race for the Georgia state Senate, becoming the first openly LGBTQ person elected to that chamber.
Said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about the victory: “Kim shattered a lavender ceiling and is paving the way for a state government that is more representative of the people it serves. The energy and enthusiasm generated for Kim’s race will inevitably encourage more LGBTQ women and people of color to recognize their own viability and make the decision to run. As an Episcopal priest, Kim can diffuse legislators who claim religion as the reason they oppose equality and will make clear that many LGBTQ people are of faith too. While Georgia lags nearly every state in the nation in protections for LGBTQ people, Kim’s victory ensures our community has a voice at the table and gives hope that more are on the way.”