There Were 122 Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and Trans Candidates in the 2022 Midterms, Here’s How They Did

The midterm elections are rarely good to newly elected presidents. Over the last 88 years, just three presidents — Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934, Bill Clinton in 1998, and George W. Bush in 2002 — saw their respective parties gain seats in Congress during the midterms. The midterms were particularly brutal during the first term of the Obama/Biden administration: Democrats lost 63 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate. A lot of the conventional wisdom heading into last night’s primaries suggested Biden was about to experience some déjà vu.

A red wave was coming, they told us. Fueled by economic frustration and concerns about inflation and crime, the wave would carry Republicans to a sizable majority in the House and maybe even threaten to takeover the Senate. The Biden administration was looking at two years of endless hearings and impeachment threats. It was gonna be bad. But to most people’s surprise — and I say this tentatively, knowing that we won’t know for sure for a while — that’s not what ended up happening.

Don’t get me wrong: Democrats still took some hits but, for the most part, they exceeded expectations on nearly ever corner of the map (Florida, sadly, notwithstanding). What are the quick takeaways? Here are my top headlines:

Lesbians Make History: Maura Healey (MA) and Tina Kotek (OR) Become the Nation’s First Lesbian Governors

LGBT women win statewide races in Vermont and Michigan and run the table in Minnesota!

A new record for out LGBTQ candidates! According to the Victory Fund, at least 340 out LGBTQ candidates won their races in these midterms

Trans and gender non-conforming candidates continue to deliver at the ballot box

Pro-Choice America: voters in Michigan, California and Vermont enshrine abortion rights in their constitutions; voters in Kentucky and Montana reject efforts to restrict abortion rights

Slavery is bad, mmkay: Voters in four states (Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont) officially banned slavery as a punishment

Young voters power Democratic wins

Before we hop into the specific results (we’ll continue to update as we have them), you might be wondering: Natalie, how did everyone get this so wrong? Well, technically, everyone didn’t. A few weeks ago, slowly but surely, mainstream polling outlets began to show a shift from Republicans to Democrats on the generic ballot. Because Republicans were so invested in maintaining the “Red Wave” narrative, they flooded the market with polling that skewed towards the GOP. Those junk polls fed into aggregators like Real Clear Politics, Cook Political Report, and FiveThirtyEight and the narrative about the forthcoming red wave persisted. Anyone who looked at the polling crosstabs could’ve recognized the GOP’s smoke and mirrors for what it was…but most mainstream outlets are so afraid of appearing biased, they bought into the junk polling and pushed a false narrative. So that’s how we got here…having to deal with more calls of stolen elections…because of a mess Republicans themselves created.

The names of candidates who have already won their elections have been bolded. 

The names of candidates in elections where a winner has not yet been determined are in italics.


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Alaska

A Yellow Outline of Alaska

Queer Candidates:

  • Jennie Armstrong (HD-16) – In 2019, Jennie Armstrong took a trip to visit her then-boyfriend in Alaska and, ultimately, never left. Driven by a strong sense of “if you can, you must,” Armstrong is determined to give back to the state she fell in love with three years ago. With her 53-46 win, Armstrong becomes the first openly LGBTQ+ member Alaska State Legislature.
  • Ashley Carrick (HD-35) – Ashley Carrick comes to the race with unique experience: having served as Chief of Staff for the representative she’s trying to succeed. Remarkably, she won a majority of the votes in a four-way race. Carrick will join Jennie Armstrong as the legislature first openly LGBTQ+ members.
  • Lynn Franks (HD-18) – Inspired by the life of her mentor, Johnny Ellis, who remained in the closet while he served 29 years in the state legislature, Lyn Franks is vying for seat in the House again. After narrowly losing her State House race in 2020, Franks hoped the outcome this year would be different. But with another Democrat splitting the vote share in the 18th district, Franks ended up a distant third in the race.

Notable Races:

  • Alaska At-Large: Earlier this year, Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) won a special election in August 2022 to fill the at-large seat left open by the death of Don Young. Her win made her the first Alaska Native (and first woman) to represent the state in Congress. She’s running to serve a full-term and with 80% reporting, she leads the field by a substantial margin. Frankly, I’m just praying she wins so that Sarah Palin doesn’t re-emerge in our politics.

Arizona

A Yellow Outline of Arizona

Queer Candidates:

  • Kris Mayes (Attorney General)The race remains too close to call but, with 96% reporting, Kris Mayes holds a incredibly slight lead — just 3,087 votes — in her race for AG. Whatever the outcome of the race, a recount seems likely. Mayes is running on her record of taking on big corporation and getting justice for Arizonans. If elected, Mayes would become the first LGBTQ person to hold the office of Attorney General in Arizona.
  • Lorena Austin (LD-9) – Though it’s her first time running for public office, Lorena Austin comes from a long line of Arizonans who dedicated their lives to the betterment of their community. Now, they’ll take that find to the state legislature, after having garnered the most votes in the LD-9 race. Austin will be the nation’s first out gender non-conforming Chicanx legislator.
  • Patty Contreras (LD-12) – After working in the Parks and Recreation and Human Services Departments in Phoenix for 31 years, Patty Contreras retired…and then realized that she wasn’t done serving her community. She’s running, for the first time, to represent the community she’s lived and loved for the past 30 years. After securing a top finding in the LD-12 race, Contreras will be one of the first out Lesbian Latinas elected to the Arizona legislature.

Notable Races:

  • AZ-Gov: Still too close to call but with 70% reporting, Democratic candidate, Katie Hobbs, has opened up a small lead (about 13k votes) over her Republican challenger. Katie Hobbs will be the new governor of Arizona, despite her opponent’s protests to the contrary.
  • AZ-Sen: Still too close to call but with 70% reporting, Democratic candidate, Mark Kelly, boasts a five point lead over his Republican challenger. Frankly, I’m shocked that it’s this close.
    Following the addition of the latest round of ballots, the calls are coming in: Mark Kelly has won re-election in Arizona.

Arkansas

A Yellow Outline of Arkansas

Queer Candidates:

  • Tippi McCullough (HD-74) – McCullough first ran for office because she’d been fired, twice, for the having married her partner. Last night, she was overwhelmingly re-elected to her seat in the Arkansas House.
  • Judson Scanlon (HD-70) – For years, Scanlon has trained others, particularly women, to run for higher office but made her first attempt at running as a candidate herself this year. Unfortunately, she fell short in her bid to oust the incumbent, 54-43.

Notable Races:

  • Issue 2: In recent statewide elections, Arkansas voters have approved increases in the minimum wage and legalized cannabis for medical use, so now legislators want to restrict the ability to launch ballot measures. With 98.6% of precincts reporting, Arkansans are against those restrictions: 59-41.
  • Issue 4: Legalizing marijuana for recreational use and sales. Despite having legalized weed for medical use, Arkansans don’t seem ready to embrace legalization yet…with 98.6% reporting, voters are against legalization, 56-44.

California

A Yellow Outline of California

Queer Candidates:

  • Sabrina Cervantes (AD-58) – Since winning a seat in the State Assembly in 2016, Cervantes has been focused on small businesses and job creation. She is the Chair of the Assembly’s Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee, and she serves on the Banking and Finance committee. She’ll have the opportunity to continue her leadership of California’s economic recovery in the Assembly, after winning another term (56.5-43.5) to represent the 58th District on Tuesday.
  • Christy Holstege (AD-47) – As the outgoing mayor of Palm Springs, Christy Holstege was looking for a way to continue serving the community she loved so much. Redistricting left an open seat representing the 47th district and Holstege threw her name into the race. Her leadership as mayor and on the Palm Springs City Council persuaded voters to take a chance on her, electing her to represent the Desert in the State Assembly.
  • Caroline Menjivar (SD-20) – Caroline Menjivar has always been service minded: from when she was in high school and enrolled in the Police Academy Magnet and the LA Fire Department Cadet Program to when she enlisted in the Marine Corps (under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) to serving as an Emergency Medical Technician. Now she’ll serve in another way: as a member of the California State Senate.

Notable Races:

  • LA Mayor: Can you buy a mayoral seat in California? It may be weeks before we know for sure, but Rick Caruso is certainly trying. Thus far Caruso maintains a slight lead over Rep. Karen Bass.

    In the latest update out of LA County, Karen Bass extends her lead in the mayoral race: 52.15% to Caruso’s 47.85%.

  • LA County Sheriff:Votes are still being counted but have LA County voters finally done it? Have they finally gotten rid of Alex Villaneuva? The incumbent sheriff is under investigation by the California Department of Justice over allegations of a pattern of civil rights violations, including excessive use of force and false arrests. So far, Villaneuva’s opponent, Robert Luna, leads the race, 57-43.
  • Issue #1: Establishing an explicit right to abortion in the state constitution; with 70% reporting, 66% of California voters supported a constitutionally guaranteed right to access abortion and contraception.

Colorado

A Yellow Outline of Colorado

Queer Candidates:

Notable Races:

  • CO-Sen: I don’t know that I ever bought into the notion that an increasingly blue Colorado would flip this Senate seat to Republicans but even I was surprised by the early call by the Associated Press. Michael Bennet, the man the GOP once called the “accidental senator,” is an accident no more. He won in a landslide.
  • CO-03: Admittedly, this wasn’t on my radar before but former Aspen city councilman, Adam Frisch, is outperforming expectations in the district and may make Republican nuisiance, Lauren Boebert, a one-term congresswoman. The race remains too close to call.
  • Proposition 122: Remove criminal penalties for use, possession and home-grow of psychedelics; Coloradans seem truly split on legalization: with 42.45% reporting, voters favor legalization by only 1.8%.
  • Proposition 123: Affordable Housing Fund; with 67.71% reporting, Coloradans narrowly support devoting a slice of the state budget to affordable housing programs, 51-49.
  • Proposition FF: Providing free lunches to public school students via a cap on tax deductions; with 68.07% reporting, YES leads by a substantial margin, 55-45.

Connecticut

A Yellow Outline of Connecticut

Queer Candidates:

  • Dominique Johnson (HD-143) – Stephanie Thomas’ run for Secretary of State left her seat in the Connecticut House open and Dominique Johnson will fill it in the new session. The former Norwalk Common Council member won with 55.38% of the vote.

Notable Races:

  • CT-SOS: The right-wing conspiracies about the 2020 election made Secretary of State races across the country into “must watch” races. Thankfully, Stephanie Thomas was able to overcome a challenge from one of the 2020 truthers in Connecticut: with 96.45% of the vote counted, Thomas leads her nearest opponent, 56-40.
  • Question 1: Only four states do not have any form of early voting but last night, Connecticut voters changed that: voting overwhelming to amend the state constitution to allow for in-person early voting.

Delaware

A Yellow Outline of Delaware

Queer Candidates:

  • Kerri Evelyn Harris (HD-32) – Back in 2018, Kerri Evelyn Harris launched a longshot campaign for the US Senate that ultimately failed but she never gave up on wanting to help Delawareans. Now, she’s the representative-elect of the 32nd district.
  • Sarah McBride (SD-1) – The highest ranking trans elected official in the United States retains her status, as McBride ran unopposed in her general election contest.
  • DeShanna Neal (HD-13) – On the day that she delivered personal testimony, about her trans daughter, before the State Senate’s Health, Children & Social Services Committee, Neal explained to her son that she was, “going to Dover to make people not be butts.” She’ll get to do that more often now, as she becomes the new representative in the Delaware 13th.
  • Marie Pinkney (SD-13) – Running unopposed in the general election, Pinkney, the second openly queer woman in the Delaware state legislature, retains her seat.

Florida

A Yellow Outline of Florida

Queer Candidates:

  • Eunic Ortiz (SD-18) – It was an uphill climb for Eunic Ortiz, who vied to represent her hometown in the State Senate: she was facing an experienced legislature, in a district that leaned Republican, in a state that went overwhelmingly to the GOP. Ortiz lost, 57-43.
  • Janelle Perez (SD-38) – Two years ago, Joe Biden won the 38th district by 7 points. Last night, Janelle Perez and the Florida Democrats lost the same district by 8 points. That’s the story of Florida, in a nutshell.
  • Michele K. Rayner (HD-62) – One of the few bright spots from Florida last night was that Michele Rayner retained their seat in the Florida House. They dominated their Republican opponent, 70-30.
  • Kimberly Walker (FL-12) – After high school, Kimberly Walker followed in the footsteps of many of her family members and answered the call to service, enlisting in the US Army. After eight years of service — that took her to Germany and Georgia — Walker returned to Florida, only to lured back into service as part of the state’s National Guard. That same spirit of service compelled her to run for Congress this year. Unfortunately, though, the state’s red wave made an already difficult task, impossible, and Walker lost her race, 27-63.

Notable Races:

  • FI-GOV: I don’t want to spend too much time on Florida’s dumpster fire of a governor (STOP NOMINATING CHARLIE CRIST TO THINGS) but I do wonder how much his success speeds up Donald Trump’s calculus about the 2024 presidential race. Those two hate each other and it’ll be interesting (and scary) to see what comes next.
  • FL-AG: Aramis Ayala, who clashed with Florida leaders over her opposition to the death penalty, failed in her attempt to unseat Florida’s incumbent Attorney General.

Georgia

A Yellow Outline of Georgia

Queer Candidates:

  • Imani Barnes (HD-86) – Following the murder of George Floyd, Imani Barnes turned to her town council, looking for them to address the situation somehow. What she found was a non-representative body, disinterested in real change…so she got into the game herself. Now, the research scientist will represent her community in the Georgia State House.
  • Park Cannon (HD-58) – Uncontested in the general election, Park Cannon will return to the Georgia Legislature to represent the 58th District.
  • Karla Drenner (HD-85) – Running unopposed, the first openly gay member of the legislature reclaims her seat in the Georgia House.
  • Kim Jackson (SD-41) – The first openly LGBTQ member of the Georgia State Senate retains her seat handily, defeating her opponent, 82-18.

Notable Races:

  • GA-Gov: What an absolute loss for the State of Georgia. You coulda had a bad bitch (© Lizzo).
  • GA-Sen: The Senate race remains too close to call but Raphael Warnock does boast a slight lead. If neither candidate gets 50%, Warnock and Herschell Walker will go to a runoff.(*Exasperated Sigh* I cannot believe damn near 1.9M people voted for that sham of a candidate.)
  • GA-SOS: In both the governor and Secretary of State races, mediocre white men were rewarded for doing the absolute least. It’s a shame that Georgia Democrats will be without the leadership of Stacey Abrams and Bee Nguyen.

Illinois

A Yellow Outline of Illinois

Queer Candidates:

  • Kelly Cassidy (HD-14) – After not garnering any competition in the general election, Kelly Cassidy will return to the state house and represent the people of the 14th District.

Notable Races:

  • Amendment 1: Right to Collective Bargaining; Still too early to call, but with 70% report, Illinois voters seem to favor workers’ rights, 59-41.
  • Supreme Court: Control of the State Supreme Court; TBD.

Iowa

A Yellow Outline of Iowa

Queer Candidates:

  • Liz Bennett (SD-39) – After running unopposed in 2020, Liz Bennett met with some competition this year, as she vied for her fourth term in the Iowa State Senate. Thankfully, she seems to have easily dispatched her Republican opponent, winning the district, 65-35.
  • Elinor Levin (HD-89) – When a long-serving state representative announced their retirement, Elinor Levin saw an opportunity…an opportunity to do the most good for the most people. Now, she’ll get that chance: having easily carried the 89th District, 82-18.
  • Elle Wyant (HD-91) – Back in March, when Iowa adopted their trans sports ban, Elle Wyant realized she needed to do more. Trans kids needed an advocate at the state capitol and she wanted to be that person. Unfortunately, her bid to join the Iowa House fell short on Tuesday, as she lost 41-58 to her Republican challenger.

Notable Races:


Kansas

A Yellow Outline of Kansas

Queer Candidates:

  • Sharice Davids (KS-03) – There was some concern that political gerrymandering might leave Sharice Davids vulnerable to defeat in Kansas’ third Congressional District. But, in a rematch of her 2020 contest, Davids actually managed to expand her margin of victory, defeating her Republican opponent, 55-43.
  • Jaelynn Abegg (HD-105) – Abegg lost her campaign to unseat the Republican incumbent in the 105th district (59-41) but, thankfully, her voice isn’t one that Kansans will lose. She said, “The work I set out to do is larger than me and larger than any one of the communities that I will ALWAYS represent. That work belongs to all of us and remains in front of us. It’s a call to rise in defense of the disempowered, disadvantaged, and downtrodden citizens of our state. And it will soon be more urgent than ever.”
  • Kirsten Lee Barger (HD-116) – Though Kristen Lee Barger has roots in Kansas — her mother was once Miss Kansas City and competed in the Miss Kansas pageant — the recent transplant to the area couldn’t gain traction in her State House race and lost by a wide margin.
  • Heather Meyer (HD-29) – When Brett Parker resigned his seat in the KS House in 2021, Johnson County Democrats chose Heather Meyer to fill the seat. Believing the appointed representative was vulnerable, the KS GOP peddled false rumors and smear tactics to regain the seat. Thankfully, though, Meyer fought back and Kansans rewarded her effort, reelecting her, 57-43.
  • Susan Ruiz (HD-23) – One of the first two LGBT state representatives in Kansas’ history, Susan Ruiz ran unopposed this year and will continue to represent Shawnee, Lenexa, and Overland Park in the State House.

Notable Races:

  • KS-AG: Kris Kobach just won’t go away. The former Secretary of State (and peddler of one inane voting conspiracy after the next) returned to Kansas ballots, this time running for Attorney General. While he’s claimed victory (natch), most outlets say his race vs. Chris Mann remains too close to call.
  • Amendment 2: Require the election of county sheriffs; Kansans voted YES on Amendment One and will now vote on their sheriffs.

Kentucky

Queer Candidates:

  • Keturah Herron (HD-42) – Last year, following the retirement and subsequent resignation of Rep. Reggie Meeks, the Louisville Democrats nominated Keturah Herron to be the Party’s nominee in a special election. Her success paved the way for an unopposed run this time around and she’ll continue to represent Louisville in the State House.

Notable Races:

  • Amendment 2: Establishes no right to abortion in the state; Lots of people thought Kansas’ pushback on abortion restrictions in August was an anomaly but Kentucky’s defeat of a similar effort (53-47) proves that, even in a state that re-elects Rand Paul, people want women to have control over their own bodies.

Maine

A Yellow Outline of Maine

Queer Candidates:

  • Laurie Osher (HD-25) – It was a rematch for Laurie Osher in the 25th district this week, as she faced Cameron Bowie, the same Republican candidate she faced in 2020. The outcome remained the same — an Osher win — but the margin of victory grew bigger.
  • Lois Reckitt (HD-122) – After three successful terms in the Maine House, Lois Galgay Reckitt found herself running unopposed for her fourth term. The member of the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame will return to Portland to continue her advocacy for Maine women and families.

Notable Races:


Maryland

Queer Candidates:

Notable Races:


Massachusetts

A Yellow Outline of Massachusetts

Queer Candidates:

  • Maura Healey (Governor) – YES! YES! YES! YES! The United States has its first lesbian governor!
  • Natalie Higgins (Worcester 4) – Since 2017, Natalie Higgins has represented Leominster and its residents in the legislature. And while she’ll continue to do that, her victory grew narrower this time around: Higgins edged out her opponent by just four percentage points or just 655 votes.
  • Sam Montaño (Suffolk 15) – The “queer Brown kid from Los Angeles who moved [to Jamaica Plain] 12 years ago has done it: after beating a crowded field in the primary Sam Montaño will represent the Suffolk 15 in the State House.
  • Sarah Peake (Barnstable 4) – Fifteen years of service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts earned Sarah Peake a unfettered path to her ninth term.

Michigan

A Yellow Outline of Michigan

Queer Candidates:

  • Dana Nessel (Attorney General) – On the Democratic side, there is probably no more shocking outcome than what happened in Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer, Jocelyn Benson and Dana Nessel led a Democratic sweep across the Great Lake state, flipping both chambers of the legislature for the first time in 40 years. It’s a BFD.
  • Emily Dievendorf (HD-77) – Realizing that she had a unique background — 20 years of policy work and activism in Lansing, MI — Emily Dievendorf decided to run for the newly minted 77th district. Her efforts were rewarded by voters with a likely win: with some votes still left to be counted, Dievendorf boasts a wide lead, 73-27, on her Republican opponent.
  • Laurie Pohutsky (HD-17) – “Thank you to the voters of House District 17 for electing me to a third term in the Michigan House!,” Pohutsky tweeted earlier today. “It’s an honor to be your representative and one I do not take lightly.”

Notable Races:

  • Proposal 2: Expansion of voting rights; YES! (56-44)
  • Proposal 3: Ending statewide abortion ban; Establish right to an abortion; YES (53-47)

Minnesota

A Yellow Outline of Minnesota

Queer Candidates:

Notable Races:

  • MN-AG: The result was far more narrow than his 2020 election but Keith Ellison — who led the prosecution of Derek Chauvin and the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd — eeked out a victory in the Attorney General race.
  • Minnesota – Hennepin County – County Attorney: In a race that featured major contrasts on reform and policing, Mary Moriarty came out on top. She is the first out LGBTQ woman to serve as county attorney.

Missouri

A Yellow Outline of Missouri

Queer Candidates:

  • Ashley Bland Manlove (HD-26) – The state’s lone out LGBTQ woman in the Missouri legislature will remain there to continue her advocacy. Manlove went unopposed in the 2022 election.

Notable Races:

  • Amendment 3: Legalizing marijuana; Passed, 53-47, but don’t get too excited. Some noteable progressives, including the aforementioned Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove and St. Louis Mayor Tishuara Jones, opposed the measure. Manlove criticized the bill for relying too heavily on judicial discretion.
  • Kansas City, Missouri – Question 2: $50M for Affordable Housing; Yes (59-41).

Montana

A Yellow Outline of Montana

Queer Candidates:

Notable Races:

  • Montana C-48: Requires search warrant to access a person’s electronic data; YES! A win for privacy!
  • Montana LR-131: A personhood amendment; Fails, 48-52. Another victory for choice.

Nebraska

A Yellow Outline of Nebraska

Queer Candidates:

  • Megan Hunt (District 8) – The first out LGBTQ woman ever elected to the Nebraska legislature secures another term, as Megan Hunt defeats her opponent, 69-31. Hunt will await word of results in the 20th District to see if the Nebraska’s LGBTQ caucus will expand to two, as John Fredrickson awaits a likely recount.

Notable Races:

  • Initiative 432: Voter ID; Yes (66-34).
  • Initiative 433: Increase the state’s minimum wage incrementally to $15 by 2026; Yes (58-42)

Nevada

A Yellow Outline of Nevada

Queer Candidates:

Notable Races:

  • NV-SEN: Still TBD
  • Question 1: Adds non-discrimination clause to the state constitution; YES, 57-43.
  • Question 2: Increase state’s minimum wage to $12 by 2024; YES, 54-46.
  • Question 3: Ranked-choice voting; YES, 52-48.

New Hampshire

A Yellow Outline of New Hampshire
Queer Candidates:

  • Gerri Cannon (Strafford 12) – With 83% percent reporting, the slate of Democratic candidates, including Gerri Cannon, look poised to capture the four seats representing Strafford 12.
  • Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (SD 21) – After running for the first time in 2020, Rebecca Perkins Kwoka path to the state senate is a bit easier this time: she ran unopposed this year and will continue to represent the 21st district.
  • Joshua Query (Hillsborough 39) – There’s still a considerable amount of votes outstanding in the Hillsborough 39 but things don’t look especially promising for Joshua Query’s hopes of returning to the State House. At the moment, three candidates are ahead of him in a race for two seats.
  • James Roesener (Merrimack 22) – What a feat: James Roesener won his race for the New Hampshire House of Representatives and, in doing so, became the first transman elected to the legislature in the nation!
  • Linda Tanner (Sullivan 5) – Despite a move from the Sullivan 9 to the Sullivan 5, Linda Tanner retains her seat in the House. The win was narrow, though: just 30 votes separate Tanner from her opponent.

Notable Races:

  • NH-Sen: There was some concern that, perhaps, Maggie Hassan was losing her grip on this seat but the AP called the race for the incumbent senator late Tuesday night. With 91% of the vote counted, Hassan leads, 54-44.

New Mexico

A Yellow Outline of New Mexico

Notable Races

  • NM-Gov: The Associated Press projects Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) to hold onto the governor’s seat.
  • NM-SOS: There’s been a push by 2020 Election deniers to win Secretary of State seats — the government official responsible for administering elections — but Democrats were able to thwart that effort in New Mexico.

New York

A Yellow Outline of New York

Queer Candidates:

  • Alison Esposito (Lt. Governor) – Back in 1994, Alison Esposito followed in her father’s footsteps and joined the NYPD. When she retired more than 25 years later, her goal remained the same: to protect the people of New York as the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate. The pair fell short in their campaign to unseat the Democratic incumbent, though: losing 53-47.
  • Deborah Glick (AD-66) – The first out lesbian to serve in the New York legislature will continue her service for another term. Glick ran unopposed in the 2022 Midterm Elections.
  • Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas (AD-34) – Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas broke new ground when she was elected in 2020: she was the the first Latina, first person of color and first queer person to represent New York’s 34th District. She’ll get to continue her service to Jackson Heights, as she ran unopposed in this year’s midterms.

Notable Races:

  • NY-Gov: Remember those polls I talked about flooding the field and creating a false narrative about Republicans? There is no better example of how the phenomenon sparked a panic than the New York governor’s race. Hochul ultimately prevailed, 53-47, but for a while some folks were convinced her Republican opponent would make this a contest. Republicans can thank their friends at the New York Post for helping to inspire false hope.

North Carolina

A Yellow Outline of North Carolina

Queer Candidates:

  • Jasmine Beach-Ferrara (NC-11) – The road to Washington was always going to be difficult for Jasmine Beach-Ferrera. She was running in a notoriously conservative district. But there was a path: if Madison Cawthorne had survived his primary challenge, there was a good chance that Beach-Ferrera could steal this seat. Unfortunately, though, Cawthorne fell in the primary and Beach-Ferrera faced a more formidable opponent and she couldn’t get over the hump. Beach-Ferrera ended up dropping this contest, 44-54.
  • Vernetta Alston (HD-29) – Vernetta Alston will continue to represent the Bull City in the North Carolina House, after running unopposed in the midterms.
  • Deb Butler (HD-18) – Appointed to her House seat in 2017, Deb Bulter has now successfully run three re-election campaigns. None of the others though ended up quite this close: with Butler winning, 53-47.
  • Allison Dahle (HD-11) – Allison Dahle retains her seat in the North Carolina House after running unopposed in the midterms.
  • Lisa Grafstein – (SD-13) There wasn’t a lot of good news for Democrats in the North Carolina Senate — the GOP now owns a supermajority in the chamber — but Lisa Grafstein’s election is a bright spot. The first time candidate surprised audiences on the campaign trail and proved herself as a natural campaigner. She won her race handily, 62-34.
  • Marcia Morey (HD-30) – Marcia Morey, a former district court judge, won her re-election handily over her Republican challenger, 86-12.
  • Marcia Morgan (SD-7) – Marcia Morgan’s quest to represent Wilmington in the General Assembly falls short again. That said, her performance in the SD-7 race was significantly better than her previous runs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rematch for this district in two years.

Notable Races:

  • NC-Sen: If Democrats don’t hold the Senate, it’s the North Carolina Senate race that will haunt powerbrokers in Washington. This was a completely winnable race with a likable candidate who had won statewide before and the Democrats just blew it. Cherie Beasley deserved so much better.
  • Wake County Sheriff: After losing re-election in 2018, Donnie Harrison returned, angling for a rematch with the man that beat him, Gerald Baker. Instead, he got a match-up with Willie Rowe, a retired veteran of the Sheriff’s office. Harrison tried to moderate himself for an increasingly liberal Wake County but to no avail, Rowe won 54-46.
  • NC Supreme Court: Possibly the biggest loss for North Carolinians came with the ousting of two Supreme Court justices and shifting the majority to the Republicans. This could have huge consequences for redistricting and civil rights.

North Dakota

A Yellow Outline of North Dakota

Notable Races:

  • Constitutional Measure 1: Term limits for state legislators and the governor; YES, 63-37.
  • Statutory Measure 2: Marijuana legalization; NO, 45-55

Ohio

A Yellow Outline of Ohio

Queer Candidate:

  • Nickie Antonio (SD-23) – Nickie Antonio, the first out LGBTQ person elected to the Ohio State Senate, retained her seat, defeating her Republican opponent, 69-31.

Notable Races:

  • HD-89: Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff from the landmark Supreme Court case that established a right to marry, lost his run for the Ohio State Senate.
  • Issue 1: Requires Ohio judges to “use factors such as public safety, including the seriousness of the offense, and a person’s criminal record” when setting amounts and conditions of bail; Were Ohio judges not already doing this while setting bail? YES, 77-23.

Oklahoma

A Yellow Outline of Oklahoma

Queer Candidates:

  • Annie Menz (HD-45)With her 54-46 win, Annie Menz becomesthe first Latina elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the first out LGBTQ Latina elected to the Oklahoma legislature.
  • Mauree Turner (HD-88) – Since their election in 2020, Mauree Turner has worked to make the capitol more accessible and understandable to the everyday folks. Voters rewarded the nation’s first nonbinary elected official with an easy re-election: Turner beat back an independent challenge, 79-21.

Oregon

A Yellow Outline of Oregon

Queer Candidates:

  • Tina Kotek (Governor) – There was a big concern that Betsy Johnson, the independent candidate running in the OR-GOV race would siphon off enough of Tina Kotek’s votes to put their anti-choice Republican opponent into the governor’s office. Thankfully, that seems to not have come to pass. Tina Kotek will become one of the United States’ first lesbian governors!
  • Jamie McLeod-Skinner (OR-5) – When Jamie McLeod-Skinner first ran for Congress in 2018, she did so in a district that favored Republicans by double-digits. She lost but ran a valiant campaign, coming as close as any Democrat had to winning the district in years. This year, she took another shot at Congress but, because of shifting boundaries from redistricting, made her run in a more favorable district, the Oregon 5th. McLeod-Skinner handily defeated the incumbent Democrat in the primary but lost to her Republican opponent in the general, 51-49.
  •  Dacia Grayber (HD-28) – Dacia Grayber won her first run for the State House in 2020. This year, though, she switched districts and had to run for re-election in the 28th district. The outcome remains the same though, as Grayber’s 82-18 win, returns her to the Oregon House.

Notable Races:


Pennsylvania

A Yellow Outline of Pennsylvania

Queer Candidates:

  • Jessica Benham (HD-36) – When she was elected in 2020, Jessica Benham became the first openly autistic and the first out LGBTQ+ woman in the PA General Assembly. She’ll get to continue her advocacy, as Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly voted to send her back to the House (79-21).
  • La’Tasha D. Mayes (HD-24) – Earlier this year, La’Tasha Mayes ran in a special election to fill the House seat left vacant by the newly elected Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey. She didn’t win. But the reproductive rights activist didn’t give up, she tried again and, this time, won the Democratic nomination. Mayes went unopposed in the general election so she’ll represent the 24th District in the Pennsylvania House.

Notable Races:

  • PA-GOV: I’m hardpressed to pick the actual worst of all the Republicans running for office during the midterms but surely Doug Mastriano ranks among them. Thankfully, Josh Shapiro defeated Mastriano, 56-42.
  • PA-SEN: It’s great, of course, that Pennsylvania won’t be represented by Dr. Oz — who lost to John Fetterman, 51-47 — for a whole host of reasons but perhaps my most favorite is what it says about the way voters view disability. Following Fetterman’s stroke, the media’s ableism was inescapable, as was their cynicism that Pennsylvania voters would share their point of view. The voters proved themselves to be better people than the media imagined…and, I dunno…that makes me feel a little hopeful about our future.

Rhode Island

A Yellow Outline of Rhode Island

Queer Candidates:

  • Rebecca Kislak (HD-4) – Rebecca Kislak has been involved with political campaigns since she was 10 but didn’t decide to run herself until Trump was elected. On Tuesday night, the longtime activist — Kislak had been president of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women — earned the overwhelming support of the 4th District, besting her Republican opponent, 89-11.
  • Tiara Mack (SD-6) – During the campaign, Tiara Mack — the first out queer woman elected to Rhode Island legislature — posted a video of herself twerking on TikTok that went viral. It was an intentional effort on Mack’s part…she hoped that by getting people’s attention, she would have the opportunity to engage those same viewers on important political issues, like abortion. But instead, the video was picked up by the right-wing media machine and Mack was deluged with racist and sexist threats. Support from her own party in the wake of those threats has been virtually non-existent but at least the voters of the 6th District continue to have Mack’s back: she won her race, 84-15.

South Dakota

A Yellow Outline of South Dakota

Notable Races:

  • Constitutional Amendment D: Expanding Medicaid; Back in June, South Dakota Republicans pushed an effort to weaken direct democracy in the state, fearing that popular initiatives would continue to yield progressive victories. South Dakota voters were unwilling to give up their power, though, and defeated that measure handily (67-33). This week, exactly what Republicans feared, came to pass. They’ve resisted efforts to expand Medicaid in the state since 2012 but thankfully South Dakota voters recognize the utility of expansion. YES, 56-44.
  • Initiated Measure 27: Legalizing Marijuana; Back in 2020, South Dakota voters supported, overwhelmingly, an effort to legalize marijuana but the state’s governor, Republican Kristi Noem, took issue with the voters’ decision and sought to have the Amendment A tossed out on procedural grounds. Her effort worked and the amendment was overturned by the GOP-led Supreme Court. Measure 27 sought to redo that 2020 vote but this time the effort faced a more well organized, better funded opposition. Initiative 27 failed, 47-53.

Tennessee

A Yellow Outline of Tennnessee

Queer Candidate:

  • Odessa Kelly (TN-07) – After she graduated from Tennessee State, Odessa Kelly, a forward on the Lady Tigers basketball team, sat by her phone waiting for a call from the WNBA. Her dad grew tired of the waiting — and the excessive credit card debt she was running up in the interim — and handed her a job application. In that job, Kelly found a new calling: serving the East Nashville community that raised her. That same spirit drove her to run for Congress but with an entrenched incumbent opponent in one the the most gerrymandered districts in the country, the odds were always long. Kelly lost her bid, 38-60.

Notable Races:

  • Constitutional Amendment 1: Establish Tennessee as a “right to work” state; YES, 70-30.
  • Constitutional Amendment 4: Allow clergy to serve in the state legislature; YES, 63-37.

Texas

A Yellow Outline of Texas

Queer Candidates:

  • Madeline Eden (HD-17) – When she announced her run for the Texas legislature for the second time, Madeline Eden had healthcare at the forefront of her mind. She’d led a nonprofit that has partnered with the county to distribute vaccines and information about COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and saw firsthand how big the need was in Texas. Unfortunately, Texans won’t get the luxury of Eden’s experience, as she lost her House race, 32-64.
  • Shannon Elkins (HD-98) – Shannon Elkins had an uphill climb in the 98th District, as she ran against an entrenched Republican incumbent with a sizable war chest. Despite her valiant effort (and unwaivering commitment to progressive values), Elkins fell short in her effort to represent the 98th District (34-66).
  • Jessica Gonzalez (HD-104) – When Jessica Gonzalez first ran for the Texas House in 2018, she upset an incumbent Democrat in the primary. The Dallas Morning News supported her candidacy, claiming that the incumbent was ineffectual and often “unreachable and unresponsive.” Gonzalez clearly took a lesson from that race and, now, as an incumbent herself is an effective representative for the 104th District. She ran unopposed in the midterm elections.
  • Mary E. González (HD-75) – There was a lot of fear, going into the 2022 elections, that Democrats would struggle in Texas’ border counties, over mounting concerns about immigration and border security. But Mary E. González, who won re-election by a landslide (76-24), continues to prove that the right candidate, with the right message can be successful in South Texas.
  • Ann Johnson (HD-134) – In her first term in office, Ann Johnson was touted as the “Freshman Legislator of the Year” by the Texas District & County Attorneys Association. Texas Monthly selected her as one of the best of the freshman class, saying, she “offered thoughtful legislation and proved remarkably effective at working with Republican lawmakers.” Her track record of success earned her an easy victory in the 134th district.
  • Julie Johnson (HD-115) – Having secured a third team in the Texas House, Julie Johnson is ready to bring the legislature’s focus back to the issues that matter. She said, “We have invested too much time on issues that don’t truly matter to the people of Texas…I am running to bring back common sense based on common values— to do what is right for my fellow Texans, and to ensure that the ability to write laws in a bipartisan manner is not lost in the Texas House of Representatives.”
  • Jolanda Jones (HD-147) – After her Republican opponent withdrew from the race back in March, Jolanda Jones’ path to her first full term was secure. She would return to the legislature and continue her advocacy for affordable health care, better jobs, safer streets and stronger schools. Jones is the first black member of the LGBT community to serve in the Texas legislature.
  • Erin Zwiener (HD-45) – Fending off a formidable challenge in the 45th district, Erin Zwiener will return to the Texas House for her second term. There, she hopes to continue the fight to ensure all Texas is a place where everyone can thrive…where y’all truly means all.

Notable Races:

  • TX-Gov: Dammit, Beto. Now we’re all going to be subjected to “who can be the absolute worst” competition between Greg Abbott and Ron Desantis as they position themselves for 2024.
  • TX-AG: How Republican is Texas? Ken Paxton is under federal indictment for felony securities fraud charges and he still gets re-elected.
  • Austin, TX – Mayor: Celia Israel, the former Texas House stalwart, finished first in the mayoral balloting but will head to a run-off against the city’s former mayor, Kirk Watson. If Israel wins, she will become the first Latina to lead a major American city.
  • Denton, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin and Harker Heights, TX – Marijuana Decriminalization within the City Limits: YES!

United States Virgin Islands

A Yellow Outline of the US Virgin Islands

Queer Candidate:

  • Janelle Sarauw (Lt. Governor) – Janelle Sarauw and her running mate, Kurt Vialet, effort to unseat the Virgin Islands Governor fell short on Tuesday. The ticket lost, 39-56, dashing hopes that Sarauw would become the first woman and the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve as USVI’s Lieutenant Governor.

Utah

A Yellow Outline of Utah

Queer Candidate:

  • Sarah Reale (State Board of Education) – While far too many politicians second-guess and criticize the work of teachers across the country, Sarah Reale made support for teachers a central part of her campaign for the State Board of Education. She said, “, I feel like our educators are in desperate need of resources and support, and confidence that we trust them.” The message seems to have resonated with Utah voters, as Reale leads the District 5 race with about 59% of the votes tallied.
  • Sahara Hayes (HD-32) – After seeing the debates in Utah’s legislature on reproductive healthcare and the treatment of transgender youth, Sahara Hayes decided to get off the sidelines and into the game. The longtime resident of the 32nd District won her race handily, 71-26, and will become the first out bisexual member of the legislature.

Vermont

A Yellow Outline of Vermont

Queer Candidates:

  • Becca Balint (VT-At Large) – Since 2015, Becca Balint has served as Vermont as a member of the State Senate. She steadily rose up the ranks, ultimately becoming the Senate President and Majority Leader. In that role, Becca passed the first gun safety laws in Vermont history, secured the largest investment in affordable housing in a generation, and passed the strongest reproductive rights protections in the nation. That track record of success earned her a ticket to DC, where she’ll be the first woman and first out LGBT person to represent Vermont in Congress.
  • Tiff Bluemle (Chittenden-13) – Tiff Bluemle moved to Vermont with her partner when the state was debating civil unions, in search of a place that embraced them and the family they wanted to have. Since being elected to the State House in 2020, Bluemle has sought to create that same sense of community for all Vermonters. She’ll get an opportunity to continue her work, having won re-election in the Chittenden 13th.
  • Brenda Churchill (Franklin-6) – Brenda Churchill has long been an advocate for the LGBTQ community. She lobbied for a bill to provide gender-neutral single-occupancy restrooms. She worked with the Vermont DMV to add a third gender option to Vermont driver’s licenses and IDs. She held town halls to listen to LGBT Vermonters and she invited cis folks to ask her tough, critical questions to increase understanding of trans people. But Churchill thought, if she were part of the legislature she could do more, so she launched her campaign in the Franklin-6. Unfortunately, she lost her race on Tuesday, 41-58, but she’ll, no doubt, find another way to make her voice heard.
  • Kathleen James (Bennington-4) – Having finished as the top vote getter among a crowded field in the Bennington-4, Kathleen James will return to the State House for another term. Within hours of her re-election, the legislator was back at work, reaching out to constituents about grant programs for first-time homebuyers and the open enrollment period for healthcare.
  • Josie Leavitt (Grand Isle-Chittenden) – Spurned off the sidelines by the fall of Roe, Josie Leavitt set “protection for all Vermonters to have reproductive freedom” as her top priority. With those rights now cemented in the state constitution, Leavitt will head to Montpelier to address her other priorities of creating affordable housing, preserving the environment and addressing food insecurity.
  • Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (Chittenden-17) – Running unopposed in the midterms, Emma Mulvaney-Stanak will return to the State House to “advance economic justice, strengthen education, and create a more equitable Vermont.”
  • Taylor Small (Chittenden-21) – In certain segments of the country, drag queens are being demonized. In Vermont, though, they’re winning elections to the State House. During the legislative session, Taylor Small advocates for paid leave, affordable housing and increased funding for education, but outside her work in the capital, she moonlights as Nikki Champagne, a drag queen that hosts Drag Queen Story Hours across Vermont.

Notable Races:

  • Proposal 5: Establishes a constitutional right to abortion; YES, 77-23.

Washington

A Yellow Outline of Washington State

Queer Candidates:

  • Beth Doglio (HD-22) – Back in 2020, Beth Doglio ran for Congress in Washington’s 10th Congressional District. She brought a slew of experience to the table, most notably a lifetime of climate activism. Doglio didn’t win that race but it didn’t diminish her passion for service. She’ll return to the State House in January, having won her race, 67-33, with issues like climate change and health care as her chief legislative priorities.
  • Julianne Gale (SD-35) – Julianne Gale was spurned to run for office after hearing from her neighbors that their voices — as rural, small town people — weren’t being heard by elected officials. She made a valiant effort but her bid to upset an incumbent Republican state representative fell short, 45-55.
  • Laurie Jinkins (HD-27A) – Since she became the first out lesbian elected to the Washington legislature in 2010, Laurie Jinkins has continued to shatter glass ceilings. She is currently the state’s first woman and first lesbian Speaker of the House. She’ll return to lead the House in January, after having easily dispatched her MAGA Republican opponent, 71-28.
  • Nicole Macri (HD-43A) – Running unopposed in the midterms, Nicole Macri will return to the Washington State House to continue her advocacy of progressive causes such as affordable housing, homelessness, human services, and mental health care.
  • Emily Randall (SD-26) – Emily Randall is no stranger to close races: she won her first House race in 2018 by just 0.2% (or 104 votes). With a well-funded, experienced Republican challenger this time around, Randall expected another close race. The race remains too close to call but early tallies have Randall leading, 52-48…which compared to her previous race, must feel like a landslide.
  • Claire Wilson (SD-30) – After winning re-election, Claire Wilson will return to Olympia and focused on investing in children, uniting the community, and empowering the voice of parents in their children’s schools.

West Virginia

A Yellow Outline of West Virginia

Queer Candidates:

  • Ally Layman (HD-24) – Redistricting forced incumbent representatives to switch to other districts leaving the 24th District open for a new voice to fill. In stepped Ally Layman, a longtime Huntingon resident and president of Huntington Pride. She ran to be a positive voice of inclusion and to advocate for the district’s best interests. Unfortunately, Layman’s campaign to join the WV house fell short; she lost her race, 47-53.
  • Dr. Sydnee Smirl McElroy (HD-26) – Though politics have been a fixture in Sydnee McElroy’s life — her grandmother served 20 years in the West Virginia House — it was never part of her plan. She carried her family’s legacy of giving back to their community into the medical field. But as residents in the 26th district started to speak out about not being heard by their elected officials, McElroy decided to step up and be their voice. Her first run for office fell short on Tuesday, 43-57, but McElroy remains committed to serving her community.
  • Danielle Walker (HD-81) – Redistricting bumped Danielle Walker out of the district she represented (District 51) and into another (District 81), but the result was the same. Walker beat her Republican opponent by a wide margin. Walker will return to the House of Delegates — as the body’s lone black voice — and continue to advocate for justice, opportunity, equality and compassion.

Wisconsin

A Yellow Outline of Wisconsin

Queer Candidates:

  • Kristin Alfheim (SD-19) – Kristin Alfheim’s platform was simple: she wanted to restore rational thought and humanity to Wisconsin politics. Unfortunately, though, her simple message didn’t prevail; she lost her quest to represent the 19th District, 46-54.
  • Marisabel Cabrera (AD-9) – First elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2018, Marisabel Cabrera has always had one goal in mind: to advance positive and proactive policies that give all Wisconsinites a fair shot and an opportunity to thrive. Cabrera’s strong showing in the 2022 election — she beat her Republican opponent, 72-28 — means she’ll get another two years to advocate for those policies in Madison.
  • Jessica Katzenmeyer (SD-5) – When a 2019 house fire nearly cost Jessica Katzenmeyer everything, the thing that ensured that she’d get the treatment she needed, without going bankrupt, was the Affordable Care Act. It was a reminder of the power of good government: it’s ability to change people’s lives for the better. She committed herself to being part of that good government by campaigning for a seat in the Wisconsin legislature. Unfortunately, Jessica Katzenmeyer’s bid to become the first out trans woman ever elected to the Wisconsin legislature fell short, as she lost to her race, 47-53.
  • Greta Neubauer (AD-66) – Since 2018, Greta Neubauer has represented her hometown of Racine in the Wisconsin Assembly. During her tenure, she’s fought to expand access to healthcare and to increase funding for education. Her colleagues in the Assembly elected her to serve as their Democratic Leader and, on Tuesday, the voters of the 66th District, re-elected her for two more years of service.
  • Lee Snodgrass (AD-57) – First elected in 2020, Lee Snodgras came into the Wisconsin Assembly and made an impact right away. She stepped up to chair the freshman caucus and the Legislative LGBTQ caucus. By January 2022, she was became part of the Democratic leadership team, serving as Sergeant at Arms. Now that voters of the 57th district have given her another term — she won her race, 59-41 — Snodgrass will return to Madison and work towards making the community a better place.

Notable Races:

  • WI-SEN: Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. I’m disappointed that Wisconsin didn’t elect Mandela Barnes, of course, but more than anything, I’m upset that democracy is dying in Wisconsin and Ron Johnson’s re-election suggests that not enough people are interested in doing anything about it.

Wyoming

A Yellow Outline of Wyoming

Queer Candidate:

  • Sara Burlingame (HD-44) – After falling short of her re-election bid in 2020, Sara Burlingame returned to the public square this year in hopes of recapturing that seat. But it wouldn’t be a rematch of the 2020 race for Burlingame, instead she’d face a rabid right-wing Republican who refused to engage of the issues and tossed out lies instead of new ideas for making the 44th District better. Unfortunately, that type of vile politics won this time, as Burlingame lost her re-election quest, 39-60.

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Natalie

A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 277 articles for us.

29 Comments

  1. Jesus Natalie you are truly something else. I’m looking forward to delving into this in depth over the next few days, but incredible that you covered all this ground — what is usually a team post — ON YOUR OWN within two days of the election…

  2. This is probably too local to be on anyone’s radar outside of Iowa, but V Fixmer-Oraiz, who is queer and non-binary, was just elected to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors! Also Elle Wyant, a trans woman, ran for Iowa House District 91 but unfortunately she did not win her race. It’s pretty disheartening to look at the national maps and see solid red, but even in red states there are LGBTQ+ and progressive folks fighting the good fight!

    • We try to keep the list to statewide and legislative races to make it more manageable but that’s exciting to hear about V Fixmer-Oraiz making history. They’re the first non-binary County Supervisor in the state.

      And I’m not sure how Elle Wyant’s name didn’t come up in my research. Thank you for putting her on my radar. I’ve updated the post to include her.

  3. Thanks for the great, detailed post!

    🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳

    I couldn’t vote for Alicia Kozlowski personally but I was staying in their district over the summer and it was basically painted with their campaign signs. So heartening to see!

  4. Well done. I’m not yet ready to celebrate Tina Kotek winning yet but it looks pretty good with what is left to count. So happy for Maura Healey as well, two lesbian governors, amazing.

    I refused to read or watch anything this election night because I was expecting a massacre, glad it wasn’t as bad as predicted.

    On abortion right, North Carolina is a interesting case, thankfully they have a Dem governor so they won’t be able to pass abortion restriction until at least 2025 so that Governor race will be massive because if they pass a ban, this new state supreme court won’t be blocking anything.

    Thank you so much, I clicked on every link, so good to see the faces of these lgbt siblings doing good. Be nice to bi girls, they will rule the world!

    • Thanks for the comment, @heimdallur.

      I’d been so nervous about the Oregon governor’s race…I really thought that third party candidate was going to play spoiler. I was both thrilled and shocked when the AP called the race yesterday.

      Are you in Oregon? I’m looking for someone to explain to me what went wrong in the 5th Congressional District. It feels like that should’ve been a lock for Democrats and, instead, JMS is trailing by 2.4 points now.

      And as for North Carolina…UGH. Just such a disappointing set of outcomes (the wins in the NC-13 and NC-14 notwithstanding) and I’m fearful about what happens if/when Roy Cooper and his veto can no longer keep the worst of the NCGOP at bay.

      • OR 5th district was always going to be competitive. It’s largely rural, and even though Bend leans blue, it’s surrounded by Trumpy cowboys with bumper stickers that say things like “black guns matter.” Add in the rural parts of Clackamas and Marion Counties where people brazenly fly confederate flags, and I’m glad she did as well as she did.

        Thank Lesbian Jesus for the governors race result though…I’ve been too sick with Long Covid to even mail a ballot this year and I never would have forgiven myself if we had ended up with Drazan.

  5. WOW! Echoing the thanks for something this beautiful and thorough in such a tiny window of time.

    Also: I was in PA this past week and a friend told me that her partner realized that Dr. Oz’s signs, when tilted 90 degrees, said “NO” and so he went around turning all of the signs he could find, which just makes me cackle with glee.

    • Thanks for the comment, VTQueer, and for sharing that information about Brenda Churchill.

      What an inspiring voice she is and I hope her loss doesn’t deter her from continuing her activism. I’ve updated the post to include her.

  6. WOWWWW this is amazing!!!!!

    as an honorary michigander, i wanna celebrate that prop 3 protects not only abortion, but “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.” . . . i’m excited for this to be a model in other states. bodily autonomy and the right to have and raise children are under attack and i’m glad to see these spelled out like this (Republican white supremacists are behind the attack on the Indian Child Welfare Act going on this week).

  7. This is fantastic reporting!! Reading stuff like this helps quell my general sense of doom, anxiety and skepticism over the last few days. Interesting to see the results continue to come in from around the country.

    Boooo, Florida! So sorry I live here, lol! 😰

  8. I know the list didn’t want to get too long (what a great problem to have, right?) But, Dr. Sydnee McElroy is a bisexual family physician who ran for the House of Delegates 26th district in West Virginia. She has two bisexual siblings (one who is also trans) and her husband is part of the McElroy brothers who have been mentioned on Autostraddle before for their queer representation in their podcast, The Adventure Zone. She lost, but as a first time politician with a vote of 2,189 to an incumbent with 2,865, there is a lot of hope for the future. Something needed in WV.

    • It’s not about the list being too long, @shainalw — though, we do limit our list by focusing on Congressional, Statewide and legislative races — it’s more about there being no comprehensive list of LGBTQ candidates out there.

      Every couple of years, we end up cobbling together names from state LGBT PACs (like Equality California, et. al.), the Victory Fund, LPAC, and any random reporting that we stumble across. It’s honestly a miracle that we don’t miss more of them.

      Thanks for sharing that information about Dr. Sydnee McElroy. I’ve added her to our round-up.

  9. Do not understand your fascination with Barnes in Wisconsin. In reality JOhnson was the leaser of two evils. Hence uou get the results in Wisconsin for US Senate that happened. Barnes advocated for violence against whites in Kenosha, did not pay his property taxes until he was elected as Lt. Governor with Evers until it was pointed out that he did not pay his taxes. Wants to defund the police and favors more gun control – you can not have that both ways. We have the right to defend ourselves if the police are not able to do it for us. Lots of issues with Barnes which seem to be overlooked – but that is what lead to the results that happened.

  10. Thank you for putting all of this together! It’s so cool to see all the ways queer people are representing us!

    I also wanted to add that in IL State Senator Mike Simmons was re-elected! He’s the first openly gay state senator and the first Black man to represent my district. He’s super rad!

  11. Yay! This is an incredible list and I’m so grateful for your work on it!

    Here in Wisconsin things are definitely rough on the democracy front, and I’m devastated Mandela lost. But re-electing the governor and keeping the Republicans from getting a veto-proof majority in the Assembly is HUGE and will make an enormous difference in keeping Rs from completely taking over. Feels like the 2024 election will be real here, now–which was in serious peril if results this year were different. Relieved, and energized to do the work ahead.

  12. Lol. Ok. So you blatantly leave out the openly lesbian candidate for Lt. Gov. in New York, Alison Esposito, because she was running as a Republican with Lee Zeldin?

    What about the first openly gay NY representative ELECTED to the US House, George Santos? He’s not good enough to make the list, or at least be mentioned?

    These 2 don’t fit your narrative so there can’t be factual, complete and/or honest “reporting” within your list of “Queers”?

    Many in this community claim “Representation Matters”, but does it only matter if they are politically from the left?

    Come on. You alienate more people than you realize with this one-sided nonsense.

    • I appreciate the criticism, Maria, even if it’s a little misguided. Allow me to clarify:

      1. Allison Esposito’s omission from this list is an oversight on my part, not an attempt to erase the significance of her candidacy. As I noted in a previous comment, no list of all the LGBT candidates running exists so it’s a piecemeal operation to track down as many names as we can. I hope this list is representative but it certainly is not exhaustive.

      2. We’ve been reporting on LGBT candidates for the last several years and when we came across Republicans, Libertarians, etc. in our research, we’ve included them.

      3. As for George Santos, I don’t know what kind of website you think Autostraddle is (clearly, you’re not a regular reader) but we are “the oldest independently-owned, website for lesbian culture that’s inclusive of trans and nonbinary people and all queer women.” This list reflects that…and that’s why George Santos is not mentioned.

      4. Notwithstanding #3, your facts are incorrect. George Santos is not “the first openly gay NY representative ELECTED to the US House.” That honor would go to Sean Patrick Maloney.

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