The largest number of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and queer candidates in U.S. history are running for office this November in the midterm elections, as the administration of President Donald Trump has moved to roll back some legal protections.

According to the Victory Institute, a group that identifies and trains potential LGBTQ candidates, said that more than 400 LGBTQ candidates are running for office in this election year. Many of them are even running in states far from liberal areas on the East and West Coast.

The LGBTQ Victory Fund calls some of the candidates “Game Changer” with the potential to have an outsized impact on equality at the federal level. “Spotlight status” is a designation given to state or local candidates in history-making races and comes with additional support and services from Victory Fund to ensure they win on Election Day.

List Of L.G.B.T.Q. Candidates Running In 2018

Alabama — Neil Rafferty — House of Representatives, District 54
Arizona — Kyrsten Sinema — Senate, District 9
California — Eric Gudz — Davis City Council
California — Linda Deos — Davis City Council
California — Jimmy Dutra — Santa Cruz County Supervisor, District 4
Colorado —  Jared Polis — governor
Connecticut — Kevin Lembo — State Comptroller
Delaware — Joe Daigle — House of Representatives, District 7
Illinois — Kevin Morrison — Cook County Board Commissioner, District 15
Iowa — Liz Bennett — House of Representatives, District 65
Indiana — JD Ford — State Senate, District 29 — “Spotlight status”
Florida — Carlos Guillermo Smith — House of Representatives, District 49
Florida — Cedric McMinn — House of Representatives, District 109 — “Spotlight status”
Hawaii — Jake Schafer — House of Representatives, District 42
Kansas — Sharice Davids — House of Representatives, District 3
Maryland — Gabriel Acevero — House of Delegates, District 39
Maryland — Mila Johns — House of Delegates, District 18
Maryland — Kevin Mack — House of Delegates, District 15
Massachusetts — Alexandra Chandler — House of Representatives
Michigan — Dana Nessel — Attorney General — “Game Changer”
Michigan — Tim Sneller — House of Representatives, District 50
Minnesota — Jon Tollefson — State Auditor
Nevada — Lidia Stiglich — Supreme Court Justice
Ohio — John McManus — House of Representatives, District 41
Ohio —  Rick Neal — House of Representatives, District 15
Pennsylvania — Dan Smith — House of Representatives, District 12 — “Spotlight status”
Pennsylvania — Kristin Seale — House of Representatives, District 168 — “Spotlight status”
South Carolina — Kent Boese — District of Columbia City Council, Ward 1
Utah — Derek Kitchen — Senate, District 2 — “Spotlight status”
Texas —  Jessica Gonzalez — House of Representatives, District 104
Texas —  Lupe Valdez — Dallas County Sheriff for 13 years and running for governor.
Tennessee — Torrey Harris — House of Representatives, District 90
Vermont — Christine Hallquist — first transgender gubernatorial nominee for governor — “Game Changer”
Washington — Emily Randall — State Senate, District 26
Washington — Claire Wilson — State Senate, District 30
Wisconsin — Tammy Baldwin — re-election Senator


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The candidates pursuing a new kind of political strategy that treats sexuality, race and gender as campaign assets that intersect with their criticism of Trump, their warnings about lost progress on civil rights and their policy ideas, the New York Times reported.

“We are going to elect more women this year, we’re going to elect more people who are L.G.B.T., we’re going to elect more people who are people of color,” Kansas candidate Davids told the New York Times. “This midterm election cycle is our opportunity to demonstrate who we are as a country.”

In 2017, more than 120 bills described as “anti-L.G.B.T.” were introduced across 30 states, including adoption laws, banning transgender people from serving in the military and so-called bathroom bills, according to the Human Rights Campaign. By January, 12 of them had become law. The shift to the right is also looming on the Supreme Court with nomination of the conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote many of the landmark gay rights cases in the recent years.

The first openly LGBTQ mayor of Houston and president and CEO of the Victory Institute, Annise Parker, wrote in a June 2018 report for the institute that LGBTQ officials are “making an outsized impact” on pressing policy issues like affordable housing, universal healthcare and immigration reform, Bustle reported.

“LGBTQ elected officials in positions of power are fundamental to moving forward equality legislation and policies, but their unique experiences also bring an authenticity and values framework that makes them better public servants,” Parker said.

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