A “rainbow wave” of openly LGBTQ candidates are running for major offices. No surprise, according to Pink News, LGBTQ people are underrepresented across all levels of politics but there are 21 openly LGBTQ candidates running for the House of Representatives, the 2 in the Senate, and the 4 hoping to become their states governor.
Another no-brainer? All 27 of the out candidates are Democrats. Hello?! No Republicans running for major political office identify as LGBTQ.
But Andrew Reynolds, a University of North Carolina politics professor & an expert on LGBTQ political representation, is cautiously optimistic about HUGE wins for the Rainbow Wave.
Yes, a Mexican-American lesbian police sheriff just might become governor of Texas. Valdez has picked up momentum in her challenge against anti-LGBT Republican incumbent Greg Abbott, possibly buoyed by a surge in support for Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger for the state’s Senate seat against incumbent Ted Cruz. If elected, Valdez would become one of the first out LGBT+ official in Texas. Speaking at a rally, Valdez said:
“We’re going to make it happen. A stronger and fair Texas. A tolerant and diverse Texas. A Texas where the everyday person has a voice and a shot just as I did…. Please tell me when I didn’t have an uphill battle… I am getting darn good at uphill battles, and I’m not done yet.”
Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin was the first-ever out member of the US Senate when she was first elected in 2012.
“As more members of the LGBTQ community are elected and become public servants, [our] voices will become louder. But for now, we must do everything we can to promote tolerance and fight discrimination. We have work to do until we achieve full acceptance and equality.”
Gina Ortiz Jones
The Democratic candidate for Texas’s 23rd congressional district in the House of Representatives, challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Will Hurd, the Air Force veteran could become the first openly gay woman of color from Texas elected to Congress. Equality PAC Chair Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) said that Jones is
“exactly the kind of candidate we need to gain a pro-equality majority in 2018. Her voice and perspective will be an invaluable addition to not just debates on equality, but military readiness, national security, health care policy, and all the myriad issues members of Congress face every day.”
Jeff Flake‘s vacated seat is one of the most closely-watched battles. Her victory could upset the chamber’s narrow 51-49 GOP majority. Sinema, who currently sits in the U.S. House of Representatives, could become the first openly bisexual member of the Senate.
Brown is running for her first full term as governor of Oregon after the previous governor resigned in 2015. The bisexual Democrat is the first out governor of a state who signed a transgender equality bill, outlawed gay ‘cure’ therapy, and has been among the state Governors to stand up to the Trump White House’s policies towards refugees.
There are NO transgender politicians in federal or statewide office except for trans Virginia lawmaker Danica Roem. If elected, Hallquist, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Vermont, would become the first openly transgender politician in the US. She has faced transphobic attacks. Her campaign has experienced an influx of abusive messages and death threats. Speaking to The Hill, she said:
“I told the campaign team right in the beginning that if we’re successful and the more successful we get, the more hatred, the more vitriol and more death threats would occur. I think it’s a natural outcome of where our country is today. We are a divided country… I land that squarely at the administration in Washington. I should tell you, it doesn’t scare me at all … We lay our lives on the line for a healthy democracy.”
Polis has been one of the leading lights for LGBTQ rights in the House, co-chairing the LGBT Equality Caucus and co-sponsoring the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which federally recognizes anti-LGBT hate crimes. Now he’s running to become governor of Colorado, and if successful would be the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States.
“I think it really gives Colorado an opportunity to stick a thumb in the eye of Mike Pence, whose view of America is not as inclusive as where America is today.”
Davids is the Democratic candidate for Kansas’ 3rd congressional district in the House and if elected, she will be the first out member of Congress from Kansas, and the first female Native American elected to Congress.
She served as a White House Fellow under Barack Obama. The Victory Fund said:
“Sharice’s commitment to smart public policy that addresses the real concerns of constituents makes her the best candidate for Kansas’ 3rd congressional district. When she wins [in] November, Sharice will become a vital LGBTQ voice.”
#Resist #VoteBlue #RainbowWave
(Photos, Youtube/ Facebook; via Pink News)