Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer, and Trans Candidates Won Big Again in State Elections This Year

It seems like we’ve been stuck in purgatory this week, awaiting the results of the 2020 presidential election — but as the final ballot counts continue to trickle in from the remaining states, and things continue to look better and better for Joe Biden, we’ve actually gotten lots of good news about the LGBTQ women and non-binary candidates we profiled in our 2020 Voring Guide.

It isn’t all rainbows, though. Unlike 2018, when the rainbow wave overwhelmed and helped drive gains in the House and across the country, Tuesday’s results were a mixed bag.


A Mixed Bag

+ In California, Georgette Gómez lost her Congressional bid in the CA-53. Votes in the state’s legislative races are still being counted but early numbers don’t look good for Jackie Fielder in SD-11 or Jackie Smith in AD-06.

Still, there’s encouraging news in early returns for Susan Talamantes Eggman (SD-5) and Abigail Medina (SD-21). Either would be the first LGBTQ woman of color to serve in the State Senate if they win.

+ In Texas, Democrats were as optimistic about their electoral prospects as they’d been in decades but that optimism did not bear fruit on election day. A particularly disappointing showing among Democrats along the Texas-Mexico border cost Gina Ortiz-Jones a win in the TX-23.

Efforts to win back the State House also fell short though Ann Johnson’s success in HD-134 means that the LGBTQ Caucus will gain a new member.

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+ In Minnesota, Angie Craig has declared victory in the MN-02 but the race remains tight. Even if the numbers hold, Craig will likely find herself in court — and facing a possible do-over — soon thereafter.


But there is plenty of unabashed good news

+ Entire slates of LGBTQ+ candidates won their legislative races in Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Nevada,New Mexico and Vermont.

+ In Oklahoma, the state elected its first Muslim and first black queer lawmaker in Mauree Turner. They are also the first openly non-binary state legislator in the nation’s history.

+ TRANS WOMEN ARE WINNING: Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon from New Hampshire and Brianna Titone from Colorado were both re-elected their respective state house races. Titone’s re-election is particularly sweet given the level of anti-trans bigotry she was subjected to throughout her campaign.

Among the newly elected: Stephanie Byers in Kansas and Taylor Small in Vermont make history as the first openly trans elected officials in their respective state houses. Also, in Delaware, Sarah McBride won and will become the nation’s first trans state senator.

+ ELECT BLACK QUEER WOMEN: Though much of the news from Florida was disappointing, Michele Rayner’s election in the HD-70 was a triumph. She will become the state’s first black queer woman in the legislature.

We’re still waiting to see what happen in Georgia‘s statewide races but when the legislature reconvenes in the new year, Kim Jackson will be among its membership. The Episcopalian priest will be Georgia’s first LGBTQ state senator.

Jackson will share that distinction with Rhode Island’s Tiara Mack who will become the first black queer woman to serve in the state senate.


Here are other Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer, and Trans Candidates who won their races on Tuesday (list will be updated as we get additional confirmations):

+ Arkansas – Tippi McCullough

+ California – Toni Atkins and Sabrina Cervantes

+ Colorado – Daneya Esgar, Joann Ginal, Leslie Herod, Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Brianna Titone

+ Delaware – Sarah McBride

+ Florida – Michele Rayner

+ Georgia – Park Cannon, Kim Jackson, Renitta Shannon and Karla Drenner

+ Illinois – Kelly Cassidy

+ Iowa – Liz Bennett

+ Kansas – Stephanie Byers, Sharice Davids and Susan Ruiz

+ Maine – Lois Galgay Reckitt, Laurie Osher, Sarah Pebworth and Charlotte Warren

+ Massachusetts – Jo Comerford

+ Michigan – Jody LaMacchia

+ Missouri – Ashley Bland Manlove

+ Montana – Kim Abbott and Andrea Olsen

+ Nebraska – Megan Hunt

+ Nevada – Cecelia González, Dallas Harris, Sarah Peters, Melanie Scheible and Pat Spearman

+ New Hampshire – Lisa Bunker, Gerri Cannon, Sue Mullen and Rebecca Perkins Kwoka

+ New Mexico – Brittney Barreras, Carrie Hamblen and Liz Stefanics

+ New York – Deborah Glick

+ North Carolina – Vernetta Alston, Deb Butler, Allison Dahle and Marcia Morey

+ Oklahoma – Mauree Turner

+ Oregon – Tina Kotek, Kate Lieber and Karin Power

+ Pennsylvania – Jessica Benham

+ Rhode Island – Rebecca Kislak, Tiara Mack and Deb Ruggiero

+ Texas – Jessica Gonzalez, Mary Gonzalez, Celia Israel, Ann Johnson, Julie Johnson and Erin Zwiener

+ US Virgin Islands – Janelle Sarauw

+ Vermont – Becca Balint, Kathleen James and Taylor Small

+ Washington – Kirsten Harris-Talley, Laurie Jinkins and Nicole Macri

+ West Virginia – Amanda Estep-Burton

+ Wisconsin – Marisabel Cabrera

+ Wyoming – Cathy Connolly

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. Spends her Thursday nights trying to make #Shonday happen.

Natalie has written 138 articles for us.

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