With some closer elections still not called at press time, a historic number of LGBTQ candidates were voted into myriad positions around the country.
Above: HRC congratulated Del. Danica Roem on her re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Most notably, Danica Roem became the first trans woman to be reelected to office. According to The Advocate, “Roem captured 57 percent of the vote to beat anti-LGBTQ Republican opponent Kelly McGinn in northern Virginia’s 13th House District, The New York Times reports. In 2017, Roem had unseated one of the chamber’s most homophobic and transphobic members, Bob Marshall.”
“In 2017, Danica wrote the playbook on how transgender candidates can defeat anti-LGBTQ opponents through authenticity and attention to everyday issues — and her reelection victory sets it in stone,” said Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a press release. Victory Fund had invested heavily in Roem’s campaign. “Voters did not head to the polls to make history, yet they proved trans candidates can win battleground races in battleground states despite transphobic attacks from opponents. Danica inspired trans people across the nation to run for office. Her reelection proves that political revolution is a lasting transformation — not an aberration.”
Victory Fund, the nation’s largest LGBTQ political action committee, invested more than $420,000 in its endorsed LGBTQ candidates this cycle, including $370,000 raised directly for their campaigns. In total, Victory Fund endorsed 176 candidates throughout 2019 and 29 of them won their races earlier in the year. Including candidates who won tonight, 108 Victory Fund endorsed candidates have won in 2019 (not including runoffs and undecideds). There are currently 765 openly LGBTQ elected officials nationwide.
“From state legislatures to city councils to school boards, LGBTQ candidates are winning in regions and in numbers unimaginable even a decade ago,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund in a statement. “Anti-LGBTQ attacks on our candidates almost universally backfired. LGBTQ candidates won in battleground districts within battleground states. And as LGBTQ candidates continue to prove their electability in every corner of the country, more will be inspired to run and win.”
“Americans are understandably focused on the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, but the LGBTQ candidates who won tonight will arguably have a greater impact on the everyday lives of their constituents,” Parker continued. “The LGBTQ candidates who were elected to school boards are our future state legislators. And those who won state legislative races are our future U.S. Congressmembers and our future governors. We are building a pipeline of out LGBTQ leaders at every level of government so we can advance equality today, and so we are positioned to run for higher-level offices in greater numbers tomorrow.”
There were 111 Victory Fund endorsed candidates on the ballot Tuesday night – the most ever in an odd-numbered election year. View the latest updates on candidate races at victoryfund.org/results2019.