While our Autostraddle senior staff were flying home from A-Camp late Tuesday night, an LGBTQ political revolution was unfolding! Three deep south states — Texas, Arkansas, and Georgia — saw landmark victories for lesbian, gay, and bisexual politicians in Democratic primaries.
Elliot Imse over at the Victory Fund, the LGBTQ political fundraising organization, said in a statement: “There are more LGBTQ candidates running than ever before this election cycle – and LGBTQ Victory Fund is on-track to endorse more candidates than at anytime in our 27-year history. The surge in LGBTQ people running for office can largely be attributed to a backlash against the federal government and many state legislatures targeting our community with harmful policies, as well as LGBTQ people seeing the electoral success of LGBTQ candidates in the last few cycles.”
Victory Fund is on track to endorse two hundred LGBTQ candidates by November.
Here are the specifics from Tuesday night.
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez won the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Texas, making her the first openly lesbian and Latina nominee to ever receive her party’s nomination for governor. If she wins, she’ll be the first Latinx to take office as governor in Texas. Also in Texas, Gina Ortiz Jones won the Democratic runoff in her congressional race. The Iraq War veteran will face GOP incumbent Will Hurd in Texas’ 23rd district in November; if she wins, she’ll become the first openly LGBTQ person and first Filipina-American to represent Texas. Lorie Burch Received 75. percent of the votes in the District 3 runoff. Burch would be among the first LGBTQ congresswomen from Texas, if elected.
Tippi McCullough, who was forced out of her teaching job five years ago because she’s gay, won her Arkansas House District 33 primary. Because she won’f face a republican challenger in the general election in November, she’s in! In just a few months she’ll become the first and only openly LGBTQ person in the Arkansas state legislature.
Openly gay lawyer Matthew Wilson won his House District 80 primary and now joins openly LGBTQ women Park Cannon, Renitta Shannon, and Karla Drenner who are running to hold onto their seats in the Georgia State Legislature. The other huge news out of the peach state, of course, is that Stacey Adams won the Democratic primary, making her the first black woman to win a major party’s endorsement for governor of Georgia.
For more information about the LQBTQ women running for office around the country, check out our evolving list of every lesbian, bi, queer, and trans woman who’s up for election in 2018.