Over 150 LGBTQ Candidates Won Their Races In 2018 Midterms, A Record Number
The results of this year’s midterm elections achieved many “historic firsts” for America’s LGBTQ community, as voters sent more than 150 members of the community to public office, according president of the Victory Institute and Victory Fund, Annise Parker.
LGBTQ candidates from across the country, the majority of whom ran on Democratic tickets, won many key races and managed to unseat several Republican incumbents. This helped secure the Democrats’ majority in the House and in the states’ governors mansions.
“From the U.S. Congress to governors’ mansions to state legislatures and city councils, we are making historic inroads and growing our political power in ways unimaginable even a few years ago,” Parker told NBC News. “We shattered lavender ceilings, achieved historic firsts and brought more LGBTQ representation to legislative bodies across the nation, which will help push equality forward.”
Parker’s ecstatic statements are reflected in Colorado’s gubernatorial race, where Democrat Jared Polis is set to become the nation’s first openly gay male governor. As of Friday, Polis leads Walker Stapleton (R) with more than 52 percent of the vote.
This marks a “remarkable turnaround” for a state that until 1996 had an amendment that prevented LGBTQ individuals from being recognized as a protected class, according to New York University politics professor, Patrick Egan.
Others, like Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island (D) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin (D), who was the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Senate, won their bids for reelection this cycle.
“This is a historic night in the fight for equality,” Cicilline said in a statement. “We will enter the 116th Congress with an unprecedented number of LGBTQ members.”
LGBTQ Democrats like Sharice Davids of Kansas, who unseated four-term Republican incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder, helped the Party take the coveted majority in the House.
With the help of LGBTQ candidates, the Democrats managed to gain a net of 31 seats in Congress’s Lower Chamber, eight seats more than the amount needed to secure the majority.
“Tonight Kansas voters gave the boot to a Trump ally and replaced him with a groundbreaking LGBTQ leader who spoke her truth throughout the campaign,” Parker said of Davids. “Sharice’s victory tonight will become a model for other LGBTQ leaders considering a run for office in red states or districts.”