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Results: 30 LGBT Races to Watch

Results: 30 LGBT Races to Watch

RACES TO WATCH

Read up on the queer candidates who ran for their political lives.

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RACES TO WATCH

While the nation convulses over Hillary versus Trump, dozens of LGBT candidates fought for positions in state legislatures, governorships, and the U.S. House and Senate. Thankfully, LGBT voters were unlikely to wake up after Election Day with fewer out members of the U.S. House of Representatives -- all six of the House seats held by out Democrats (there are no out LGBT Republicans in Congress) were in races that favor the incumbent, according to The Cook Political Report. The real question heading into Election Day was the success of LGBT upstarts facing straight opponents; among them were two candidates hoping to become the first gay Republicans in the U.S. House who were out at the time of their first election (some other gay House GOPers have come out while already in office). Meanwhile, Jim Gray hoped to become the first out gay man in the U.S. Senate, representing very red Kentucky, while Misty Snow tried to become the first transgender U.S. senator by convincing Utah's conservative voters to send her to Washington. Read about all these trailblazers on the next pages and check back with Advocate.com throughout Election Night to see how they fared.

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Angie Craig, U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota District 2
Democrat Angie Craig represents the direction Minnesota's Second Congressional District, which includes Minneapolis and St. Paul, is heading: educated, relatively young, part of a minority community. Her opponent, Republican Jason Lewis, represents the opposite: provincial and antagonistic to change. A onetime journalist and health care executive, Craig has deep knowledge and experience that belies her 44 years. Her experience and thoughtfulness are helping her pull ahead of Lewis, a Donald Trump-supporting shock jock who's said Minnesota should cap the number of Syrian refugees coming into the state and openly supports voter ID laws, which often affect trans people and people of color. Craig, meanwhile, doesn't target immigrants in her campaign and instead has proposed a coordinated effort to discourage homegrown terrorism. Craig is married (to a woman) and the mom of four teenage boys. Republicans have tried to turn this against her, with a state GOP chair trying to shame her family in a lamentable Facebook post. Many aren't buying it, including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which recently endorsed her over Lewis. She also is a Victory Fund spotlight candidate, a designation the group gives to endorsees who "are poised to break down barriers and make an outsize impact for equality." Victory Fund endorses numerous other candidates, but it does not generally endorse incumbents, and its backing depends not only on candidates' stances and qualifications but also on their likelihood of winning.

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Bao Nguyen, U.S. House of Representatives, California District 46
California's 46th Congressional District is a veritable melting pot, and this is reflected in its politics -- the last four representatives have alternated between a white male Republicans and a Latina Democrat. Enter Bao Nguyen, the Thai-born mayor of Garden Grove, who edged out Republican Bob Peterson to earn the candidacy for Congress. To earn his position as mayor, Nguyen had to lock down not only the vote of the sizable Vietnamese population but also the vote of other ethnic groups. And his attention to intersectional identities didn't end there -- for example, he fought for LGBT people to be included in the Tet parade held in Little Saigon. Since in California, the top two candidates from the primary advance to the general election regardless of party, Nguyen faces fellow Democrat Lou Correa come November. Nguyen has the endorsement of Victory Fund.

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LOSES: Beth Tuura, Florida House of Representatives, District 47
Emmy-winning TV producer Beth Tuura of Orlando, running for Florida's House or Representatives, wasn't able to win the seat despite having supporters in high places. She was endorsed by President Obama, and her race was considered an "essential" one by the national Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Tuura, a lesbian, won a three-way primary in House District 47 in August and faced Republican incumbent Mike Miller November 8. Orlando's Pulse nightclub is located in the district. Tuura, a Victory Fund spotlight candidate, is a strong proponent of gun control, saying on her website, "I will fight to ban assault rifles, expand background checks, and supporting no fly-no buy." She further said she will advocate for LGBT and women's rights -- Florida state law does not yet ban anti-LGBT discrimination -- and she promises to protect Planned Parenthood's funding and oppose fracking, an oil and gas exploration method that can cause environmental damage. Married to a teacher in the public schools, she is also a staunch supporter of public education.

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LOSS: Brady Pinero Walkinshaw, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington District 7
Victory Fund spotlight candidate Brady Pinero Walkinshaw, 32, is running to become the first out Latino member of Congress. He has represented the 43rd district in the Washington State House since 2013. There he worked to expand transportation, affordable housing, and mental health services. In 2015 he sponsored a bill, Joel's Law, that gives families access to emergency health treatment for loved ones in need. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. Prior to holding public office, Walkinshaw worked at the World Bank and was a program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at which he worked to assist small farmers. A Fulbright Scholar, he founded a nonprofit, Proyecto Villa Nueva, in order to prevent violence against young people in Honduras. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where he studied public policy. Walkinshaw married marine biologist Micah Horwith in 2015, and they live in Seattle's Capitol Hill gayborhood. His priority issues include LGBT rights, gun control, criminal justice reform, women's rights, and animal rights. Because of Washington's "top two" primary system, in which the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party, he is running against another Democrat, Pramila Jayapal, currently a state senator.

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WINS: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House of Representatives, District 49
The policy director for Equality Florida, Carlos Guillermo Smith, is obviously an LGBT advocate. And now he's won a place among the freshman class of the Florida legislature. That's in part because he ran in a district that has no incumbent, and faced an independent instead of a Republican, but he's also a longtime Democratic Party activist in Orange County capable of raising money. With Smith representing the Orlando area, it means adding a truly outspoken voice for LGBT people to Florida's legislature, which sorely needs it. Smith was among those calling out Florida Gov. Rick Scott for supporting a "totally unnecessary" pastor protection bill that Smith said at the time was "motivated by a disapproval of same-sex couples." And Smith was there arguing for a ban on employment discrimination against LGBT people, a measure the legislature rejected. He is designated a spotlight candidate by Victory Fund, which has run ads that tout his support for gun control.

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Chris Schwartz, Board of Supervisors, Black Hawk County, Iowa
Chris Schwartz, Iowa state director for Americans for Democratic Action, is running for a position on the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors, one of six candidates for three at-large seats. In announcing his run in Iowa's fourth most populous county, the Democrat said that level of government is a good place to implement a progressive agenda. "We need to build a local movement here in Black Hawk County to raise the minimum wage, reform our criminal justice system, protect workers' rights, improve public health, and protect our environment," he told The Courier, a newspaper serving the Waterloo-Cedar Falls region. "With a lot of hard work and a little bit of imagination we can build that movement." Some, however, don't approve of Schwartz's politics or the fact that he's gay. In October the home he shares with his boyfriend in Waterloo was vandalized, with "FAG" spray-painted on the outside, along with "Lev 20:13" on Schwartz's door, a reference to a Bible verse condemning homosexuality, found in the book of Leviticus. Also, "TRUMP" was painted over his Hillary Clinton yard sign. Schwartz, who would be the first openly LGBT person elected to office in northeastern Iowa, blamed a local religious right group called Cedar Valley Patriots for Christ, which has railed against him online, but the group has denied responsibility.

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LOSS: Clay Cope, U.S. House of Representatives, Connecticut District 5
Clay Cope of Connecticut tried to become the first gay Republican congressman who was out of the closet when initially elected. But he came up short. (Other gay GOPers in the U.S. House have come out while already in office.) Cope is first selectman of the town of Sherman, meaning he heads the Board of Selectmen -- the board is the town's governing body, and the first selectman functions like a mayor. He is in his third term as first selectman, and before running for office he worked in the fashion industry. He was once the business and life partner of designer Victor Costa; he is now in a relationship with Andres Sanchez, a chef. Cope says he is as a fiscal conservative, supports a "literal interpretation" of the Second Amendment, and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But he also calls himself a pragmatist and says his being gay has never been an issue in Sherman, which is "a very open and inclusive community," he told the Hartford Courant. In the Fifth Congressional District he's running against incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Esty. She will be hard to beat, Chris Kukk, a political science professor at Western Connecticut State University, told the Courant, adding that this "funky election" may hold surprises. Cope is endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans' political action committee.

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WIN: Daniel Hernandez, Arizona House of Representatives, District 2
Daniel Hernandez, best known as the man who helped save then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords's life during a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, successfully ran for the Arizona House of Representatives and took one of the two spots representing District 2, in the southern part of the state. He becomes the only currently serving out LGBT state legislator (there have been some in the past, like Kyrsten Sinema, a bisexual woman who has gone on to serve in Congress). His priority issues included gun violence prevention, LGBT equality, workers' and veterans' rights, comprehensive immigration reform, and educational equity. He has served five years on the board of the Sunnyside Unified School District, which includes Tucson and several neighboring communities, the last two as president. During his tenure the board has hired a new superintendent, opened a K-8 fine arts magnet school, and developed a comprehensive sex education lesson plan. And Hernandez survived a recall attempt that targeted him for being gay. He has also been a member of the city of Tucson's Commission on LGBT issues. Hernandez was a Victory Fund spotlight candidate.

Correction: Incorrect results had reported earlier that Hernandez lost his race.

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WIN: David Cicilline, U.S. House of Representatives, Rhode Island District 1
David Cicilline headed into Election Night favored to win, and he delivered by winning reelection to the seat he's held in Congress since 2011. The Providence Journalendorsed Cicilline, calling him "better equipped with the talent and experience to confront the problems facing America" than his Republican challenger, H. Russell Taub. The newspaper ought to know, since Cicilline is the former mayor of Providence. Since winning reelection by nearly 20 points last time around, Cicilline, who was again endorsed by the Victory Fund, championed a small but high-profile law that requires all federal buildings to install diaper-changing tables in bathrooms. The Journal reports that issue got attention when celeb Ashton Kutcher started a Change.org campaign. And Taub had been making fun of Cicilline for taking up a problem he said wasn't pressing.

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Denise Juneau, U.S. House of Representatives, Montana At-Large
This woman is a trailblazer: In 2008, the out Harvard grad became the first American Indian in the country elected to executive statewide office. After becoming Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Juneau helped boost graduation rates to historic highs. Not surprisingly, she was reelected four years later. Now Juneau is hoping to make history again. The Montana native -- whose family has lived in the area for generations -- is running to become only the second woman to represent Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives. Montana has just one seat in the House. Juneau is running not just on her education platform (she's rumored to be on Hillary Clinton's shortlist for Education secretary) but as an advocate for natural resource management; she holds a seat on Montana's influential Land Board. Because of her deep expertise, The Missoulianendorsed her over her opponent, Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke. Victory Fund is also backing her as one of its spotlight candidates.

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LOSS: Jane Campbell, North Carolina House of Representatives, District 98
As it turned out, Jane Campbell didn't make history in North Carolina as the first out LGBT female representative in the state House. Campbell, a lesbian, failed in her run against John Bradford, an anti-LGBT Republican incumbent, in House District 98. The district is "majority-Republican," reports Charlotte Magazine. Campbell is a retired Naval officer. During her time in the Navy, Campbell served in Pearl Harbor, Afghanistan, the Pentagon, and the White House. Campbell has been endorsed by The Charlotte Observer, which recently declined to endorse North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. The paper has endorsed McCrory in each of his campaigns for office since 1992, but it refused to endorse him this election after he signed House Bill 2, the state's anti-LGBT bill, into law. Campbell's opponent, John Bradford, not only voted for HB 2 but he helped draft and sponsor it. "We prefer Campbell, a Davidson graduate who is unaffiliated but backed by Democrats. She helped supervise multimillion-dollar military departments in the Navy, honing leadership and consensus-building skills. She would bring a much-needed new LGBT voice to the General Assembly," the Observer wrote in its endorsement. Campbell had said she would've supported efforts to repeal HB 2. She also wanted to close tax loopholes and roll back what she calls "tax giveaways to out-of-state corporations and special interests," and make education a top priority. She's a Victory Fund spotlight candidate.

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WINS: Jared Polis, U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado District 2
The district that Jared Polis has represented in Congress since 2009 is "solidly Democratic," according to TheCook Political Report. And on Tuesday he won a fifth consecutive term. He and his husband have started a family, which was actually a first at the time for a same-sex couple in Congress. As cochair of the LGBT Equality Caucus in Congress, he's also the cosponsor of a lot of bills, including the Equality Act, acting as one of the chief voices in Congress on behalf of LGBT people. And as a representative from a state with progressive laws on marijuana, he's also been a voice for legalization.

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LOSES: Jennifer Webb, Florida House of Representatives, District 69
Jennifer Webb -- a Democrat in Pinellas County, which includes St. Petersburg -- failed to unseat Republican incumbent Kathleen Peters in the state House of Representatives. Webb, a committed environmentalist, is keenly aware that climate change is affecting the country, and especially the Sunshine State. Currently the director of community partnerships at the University of South Florida, Webb has honed her negotiating skills and developed a passion for saving the planet; her loud proclamations for action have nabbed her endorsements not only from the Victory Fund but also the Sierra Club. "I will fight to reverse the harmful effects of our current environmental policies. I will vote to ban fracking, and to invest in our infrastructure," Webb said, according to a St. Petersburg blog. "I will work with local leaders to implement sustainable growth and advocate for statewide plans for mitigation and adaptation to sea level rise." Webb, 36, also supports gun control, marijuana legalization, and affordable health care. Ensuring mental health services is important to Webb since the issue touched her personally -- her sister ended her life in front of Webb and other members of her family. Webb is married to teacher Cynthia Wurner and has said, "We would use the energy that it would take to raise children to help our community."

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LOSES: Jim Gray, U.S. Senate, Kentucky
The mayor of Lexington was unsuccessful in taking on Republican incumbent Rand Paul, with the Associated Press quickly calling the race at 6:59 p.m. ET. Gray had argued that Paul's presidential ambitions distracted him from taking care of the state. Also during the campaign he attacked Paul for being wishy-washy on whether he'd support closing the so-called terrorist loophole for gun ownership. Paul's ties to the state and national network were a major challenge to overcome, as the incumbent maintained a big fundraising advantage and outside PACs running ads in the state. TheCook Political Report had the race ranked as "solid Republican," its strongest possible assessment for the other party. Although Gray has the endorsement of the Victory Fund as a spotlight candidate, and if he won he'd become the first out gay man elected to the U.S. Senate, he did not have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign. HRC never issued an endorsement in the race, even though Gray's campaign said he sought it. The endorsement would have included a campaign contribution to Gray. For his part, Gray is a successful construction business owner and has, in part, self-funded.

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WINS: Kate Brown, Oregon Governor
Kate Brown made history in 2015 when she became the first openly bisexual governor in the nation. And now she's made history again as the first candidate to be elected governor while out. Brown had to run for election is to serve out the remaining two years of his term. Brown, a Democrat who had been secretary of state, became governor of Oregon following the resignation of John Kitzhaber, who stepped down after he and his environmental consultant fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, were accused of ethics violations. Oregon's Corvallis Gazette-Times, in endorsing Brown, noted that she stepped into her new position with grace. "We were impressed by the calm, collected manner in which Kate Brown took over as the governor of Oregon in the chaotic weeks after the resignation of John Kitzhaber; it would have been easy for the legislative session that had just gotten underway to roll off the rails, but Brown helped make sure that didn't happen," the paper wrote. During her tenure, Brown signed a bill into law in May 2015 that banned the use of conversion therapy on minors and one raising Oregon's minimum wage. Brown's priorities include "raising graduation rates, helping families economically, protecting the environment and easing traffic congestion," a spokesman for her campaign told Portland daily The Oregonian. She was up against Republican William "Bud" Pierce, who came under fire for a comment in September, during a debate, that suggested educated and affluent women weren't at risk for domestic violence -- something Brown revealed she has endured. Brown's experience includes 17 years in the state legislature, and she was the first woman to serve as Oregon's Senate majority leader. She was previously a child advocate and a juvenile and family law attorney, taught at Portland State University, worked with the Juvenile Rights Project, and cofounded the Oregon Women's Health and Wellness Alliance. She was a Victory Fund spotlight candidate.

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LOSS: Ken Keechl, Florida House of Representatives, District 93
Ken Keechl faced a tough battle for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives against incumbent Republican George Moraitis. And in the end he couldn't eek out a win. Keechl was experienced, though; he made history as Florida's first out county commissioner in 2006, then followed that accomplishment by becoming Broward County's first out gay county mayor in 2009. Prior to holding public office, Keechl practiced law. A graduate of Florida State University and FSU College of Law -- where he served as editor of the school's law review -- Keechl went on to have a distinguished legal career, rising through the ranks to become an equity partner at the law firm Brinkley Morgan. He is now a sole practitioner at Ken Keechl Law PA, where he focuses on commercial and land-use litigation as well as pro bono work. Keechl is a longtime resident of Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale. He and his husband have lived there for over two decades. In October, the Sun-Sentinel -- the county's newspaper -- endorsed Keechl over Moraitis, noting how the latter backed a string of "legal loser" legislation this year like voting to defund Planned Parenthood and drug test people on welfare. Moraitis also denies the realities of climate change, even as storms batter Florida. But that wasn't enough for a Keechl win.

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LOSS: Kyle Thorson, North Dakota House of Representatives, District 18
Kyle Thorson, the Democratic candidate for the North Dakota House of Representatives from District 18, wasn't able to pull off a win. Born in Bottineau, N.D., Thorson currently serves as a project manager for Amazon, where he works to improve business processes. He earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of North Dakota. There he helped create a financial wellness program that counsels students on spending and debt. A community leader, Thorson helped reinstate and organize Pride in Grand Forks, N.D., where he has lived for over a decade, and studied immigration issues when he volunteered for one year in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He is also on the Community Violence Intervention Center's board of directors. Earlier this year, Thorson put pressure on the state's governor to address the violence that has erupted over the Dakota Access pipeline. He is calling on the governor to convene lawmakers to find a solution that will preserve North Dakotans' drinking water, respect the culture of indigenous peoples, and protect the safety of workers. He is one of Victory Fund's spotlight candidates.

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WINS: Kyrsten Sinema, U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona District 9
Tuesday brought reelection for Tucson native Kyrsten Sinema, who is the epitome of a self-made person. Her family lived in an abandoned gas station in her youth, and she attended college with scholarship funds, which she received for academic excellence in high school. She was a social worker before she began her political career. Fighting for LGBT rights has been a hallmarks of her time in office. In 2006 she cochaired Arizona Together, the campaign that defeated Proposition 107, which would have banned the recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions in Arizona. And in 2008 she led the campaign against the Proposition 102, a marriage equality ban that was ultimately approved by the voters. She's been an outspoken advocate for public education and economic development, and an outspoken opponent of the state's controversial immigration law and lax gun control. In 2012 she made history when she was elected the nation's first out bisexual congresswoman. She represents Arizona's Ninth Congressional District, and in this election was unsuccessfully challenged by Republican Dave Giles.

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WINS: Leslie Herod, Colorado House of Representatives, District 8
With her win on Tuesday, Leslie Herod is now one of the few African-American lesbian state legislators in the nation. Herod, a Victory Fund spotlight candidate, ran in Colorado's heavily Democratic House District 8, covering portions of Denver. She has been an aide to various state officials, including Bill Ritter Jr. during his 2007-11 term as governor, and a program officer with the Gill Foundation, where she led philanthropic initiatives focusing on LGBT equality and alliance building in communities of color. After that, Herod started a consulting firm. She is gubernatorial appointee to the state's Judicial Performance Commission, a mayoral appointee to Denver's Cultural Affairs Commission, a member of the Women's Influence of Leadership Circle, and on the board of directors for Urban Peak, Colorado's leading homeless youth service agency. She is also cofounder of New Era Colorado, which focuses on engaging of young people in public service, and a past president of Colorado Black Women for Political Action. If she is elected to the House, she pledges to fight for equality for all, criminal justice reform, public education, and environmental protection, among other causes. She is up against Evan Vanderpool, a Republican businessman who says government has gotten too big. The seat is open because Democrat Beth McCann, who has held it for four terms, is running for district attorney of Denver, which has a consolidated city-county government.

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WINS: Mark Pocan, U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin District 2
When Tammy Baldwin won her seat in the U.S. Senate, she left open her Wisconsin seat in the House. Mark Pocan won it, meaning back-to-back out representation for the Madison district. It says a lot about the district, and it says a lot about why the fourth time wasn't the charm for Republican challenger Peter Theron's bid for U.S. House. Even the local Wisconsin State Journal, which endorsed Wisconsinite Paul Ryan for reelection, then endorsed Pocan in the District 2 House race. "Pocan is one of the most liberal members of Congress, yet he's gone out of his way to befriend and try to find agreement with Republicans," the newspaper wrote. "His engaging personality and strong record of accomplishment when he served in the state Legislature make him the much better choice over perennial Republican challenger Peter Theron of Madison." Pocan, who is endorsed by the Victory Fund, locked in his first reelection win.

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Mark Takano, U.S. House of Representatives, California District 41
The Cook Political Report's list of solid Democratic seats includes the district of the first and only out person of color in Congress: Mark Takano in California's 41st district. Takano, who is Asian, was elected during the last cycle in 2012 with 58 percent of the vote. It was the third time he'd run. He finally won, in part, because the congressional district boundaries were redrawn. A Harvard graduate, the former high school English teacher (for 24 years) and gay-straight alliance adviser is a reliable voice for LGBT issues in Congress, and he's talked frequently about how the struggles of minority groups are all connected.

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Matt Heinz, U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona District 2
Matt Heinz, an emergency room physician from Tucson, is running for Congress from a truly battleground district. Arizona's Second Congressional District, in the southeastern corner of the state, is almost evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Heinz, who is gay, sought the seat in 2012, losing to Ron Barber in the Democratic primary. Barber won the general election that year, then was ousted by Republican Martha McSally in 2014 in the nation's closest congressional race, with McSally's margin of victory being less than 200 votes. Heinz, who has also been a state legislator and federal health official, says McSally is too conservative for the district. "I've watched as Martha McSally has, in my opinion, rejected the values of southern Arizona repeatedly," he told The Arizona Republic in July. "That is not something I can stand for." He cited her votes to ban abortion after 20 weeks and to repeal the Affordable Care Act, along with her opposition to marriage equality. In her first term, McSally has a 48 score out of a possible 100 in the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional Scorecard. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is backing Heinz through its "emerging races" program, and the Victory Fund has made him a spotlight candidate.

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LOSS: Misty Plowright, U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado District 5
Misty Plowright made history in June when she became the first transgender candidate to win a major party nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives. But she wasn't able to pull off a win in the general election. A progressive, Plowright promised to reform the criminal justice system, make it easier to vote, and put a tourniquet on defense spending. She faced Republican incumbent Doug Lamborn, who has been the representative for this district since 2012. Plowright is fighting against a conservative Goliath -- Colorado's Fifth Congressional District has been staunchly Republican since the early '70s.

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LOSS: Misty Snow, U.S. Senate, Utah
Even though she wasn't able to win this race, Misty Snow made history by becoming the first transgender person ever nominated by a major party to run for U.S. Senate. That's no small feat, even if it's because the Democratic Party largely ignored the race, leaving this grocery store cashier with the liberal politics of her role model Bernie Sanders to fight it out for a primary win with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Republican incumbent Mike Lee went into Election Night heavily favored to win reelection, and he did. Lee is one of the most virulently anti-LGBT members of the Senate. He's a Tea Party favorite who has often worked in tandem with the likes of Texas's Ted Cruz. But Snow's challenger being an incredible transphobe and homophobe wasn't enough for her to win endorsement from either the Victory Fund or the Human Rights Campaign. It's just too much of an uphill battle.

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LOSS: Paul Babeu, U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona District 1
Paul Babeu of Arizona lost his bid to become the first gay Republican in Congress who was out from the get-go. Babeu, the sheriff of Pinal County, sought to represent the First Congressional District, a huge district in area that covers the northern and northeastern portions of the state. Having won a five-way primary for the GOP nomination, he's up against Democrat Tom O'Halleran for an open seat; the district's current U.S. representative, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, is giving up that post because she's challenging John McCain for U.S. senator. There have been openly gay Republican congressmen before, such as Steve Gunderson of Wisconsin and Jim Kolbe of Arizona, but they came out while already in office. In 2008, Babeu became the first Republican to be elected sheriff in the county's history, and in 2011, he was named Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriffs' Association. He had the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans' PAC. "I'm honored to earn the support of Log Cabin Republicans, since they stand for personal liberty, less government, and support free market principles that will create jobs," Babeu said.

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LOSS: Rod Snyder, West Virginia House of Delegates, District 67
Rod Snyder is the president of Field to Market, a nonprofit alliance for sustainable agriculture. He failed on Tuesday in his bid for a spot in the West Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 67th District. Snyder served as the president of the Young Democrats for America. Snyder, who was endorsed by the Victory Fund as a spotlight candidate, ran on a platform to raise the minimum wage, fight substance abuse, and expand voting rights.

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WINS: Sean Patrick Maloney, U.S. House of Representatives, New York District 18
Sean Patrick Maloney has had two tough fights for this seat, but this time he headed into Election Day with The Cook Political Report marking his seat as "solid Democratic." He defeated challenger Nan Hayworth by less than 3,000 votes in 2014. This time, he faced down Phil Oliva, who called Maloney a plagiarist and liar, which are unsubstantiated allegations. Oliva opposes new gun control measures, while Maloney wants universal background checks and to close the so-called terrorist loophole. "It is a disservice to treat this like it's a glib subject where there's nothing we can do," he told the Poughkeepsie Journal, which endorsed him in the race. Maloney also had the endorsement of the Victory Fund.

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LOSS: Stephen Skinner, West Virginia Senate, District 16
Stephen Skinner served as a legislator in West Virginia since 2012, when he became the first LGBT elected official in the 67th District of the House of Delegates. But he wasn't able to make the move to the West Virginia Senate. Skinner is the founder of Fairness West Virginia, an LGBT advocacy group in his home state. Skinner is a Victory Fund spotlight candidate. He has been the target of anti-LGBT robocalls because he supported a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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Tina Podlodowski, Secretary of State, Washington
Podlodowski, a former Seattle City Council woman and Microsoft executive, is hoping to oust Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman. The secretary oversees elections, voting rules, and business and nonprofit dealings. Podlowski has promised to expand voting among Asian-Americans, a large demographic in Washington State, and argued that her challenger has worked to restrict voting. Podlowski, who lives in Seattle with her wife and children, is also an advocate for responsible gun legislation. Victory Fund has designated her a spotlight candidate.

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LOSS: Tommy Greene, Ohio House of Representatives, District 16
This young Democrat failed in his bid to represent Cuyahoga County -- home to Cleveland -- in the state capital of Columbus. Greene, the son of a steelworker, campaigned on a platform of stronger education, increased job opportunities for Ohioans, rising the minimum wage, ensuring women's rights, protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and protecting Lake Erie. Greene, a Victory Fund spotlight candidate, lost to Republican Dave Greenspan in a district that is a swing section of a swing state.

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