Stella Maxwell
Subscribe To
The Advocate
Scroll To Top

LGBTQ+ Candidates to Watch in the Upcoming Election

Todd Gloria and Sarah McBride

LGBTQ+ candidates have many chances to make history in November. Here’s a look at game-changing candidates, who are all endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which this year has endorsed 387 out candidates, the most in its 29-year history.

Except where noted, all are Democrats.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 

Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres, running in separate New York districts, stand to become the first openly gay African-Americans in either house of Congress. Torres would also be the first gay Afro-Latinx member.

In California, lesbian Georgette Gómez is running to become the first LGBTQ+ Latina in Congress. In Texas, Gina Ortiz Jones, also a lesbian, would be the first LGBTQ+ Filipina representative. Jones would be the first out member of the Texas delegation as well.

Several other states have a chance to elect their first LGBTQ+ representatives: in Indiana, Pat Hackett, a lesbian; in Michigan, Jon Hoadley, a gay man; in Washington State, Beth Doglio, a bisexual woman. There hasn’t been bi representation in the U.S. House since Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona moved up to the Senate two years ago. Another bi woman, Tracy Mitrano, is running in New York and was unopposed in her primary.

STATEWIDE OFFICES:

Bryce Bennett, a gay man running for Montana secretary of state, would be the first out statewide elected official there. In North Carolina, Jenna Wadsworth, a bi woman, would be the first out candidate to win nonjudicial statewide office if she succeeds in her race for commissioner of agriculture. Both have already won their primaries.

Marko Liias, a gay man running for lieutenant governor in Washington State, would be the first out candidate to win statewide office other than a judicial office. 

STATE LEGISLATURES: 

In Florida, gay man Shevrin Jones is running to become the first state senator from the LGBTQ+ population, while lesbian Michele Rayner would be the first Black woman from our community in the state’s House of Representatives. 

Jabari Brisport is a Caribbean-American gay man running for New York State Senate. If he wins, he’ll become the first LGBTQ+ legislator of color in the Empire State.

Tiara Mack, a lesbian, is running to become the first Black LGBTQ+ state senator in Rhode Island, but first she must face homophobic incumbent Harold Betts in the September 8 Democratic primary.

Wisconsin State Assembly candidate Jessica Katzenmeyer is seeking to become the state’s first out trans legislator.

Kim Jackson, a Black lesbian, is running to become the first out member of the Georgia State Senate.

Torrey Harris and Brandon Thomas, both Black gay men running for the Tennessee House, would be the first out members of the legislature there. 

Sarah McBride, national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, is running for the Delaware State Senate, and she would become the state’s first out trans legislator and the first trans state senator anywhere in the U.S. 

Stephanie Byers, seeking a seat in Kansas House, would be the first out trans legislator in her state. Vermont would have its first openly trans lawmaker in Taylor Small.

Madeline Eden, who won her Texas House primary in March, is running to be her state’s first trans legislator.

Michelle Palmer, who is bisexual, is running to become the first LGBTQ+ member of the Texas State Board of Education.

Alex Lee, a candidate for California State Assembly, would be the Golden State’s first out bisexual legislator. He faces Republican Bob Brunton in November.

Marque Snow, a gay Black man running for Nebraska State Senate, would be that state’s first LGBTQ+ legislator of color. He’s a longtime Democratic activist, but the race is officially nonpartisan, and he’s up against another candidate from a Democratic background, John Cavanaugh, after they finished in the top two spots in May’s primary.

In Hawaii, House candidate Adrian Tam is seeking to restore LGBTQ+ representation in the state legislature. It’s had out members previously but has none now, so Tam would be the only out rep if he wins. 

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS: 

Todd Gloria, a gay man, is running to become the first out mayor of San Diego, the second-largest city in California. (The city has had gay mayors on an interim basis, but never one elected.) Gloria, who is of Filipino, Dutch, Puerto Rican, and Native American heritage, would also be the first person of color to be San Diego’s mayor. He’s up against Scott Sherman in November. The race is nonpartisan, but Gloria, currently a California state legislator, identifies as a Democrat, and Sherman has a Republican background.

Jill Rose Quinn, running for a Circuit Court judgeship in Cook County, which includes Chicago, will be the first out transgender official elected in all of Illinois.

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()