Former President Barack Obama has endorsed a new slate of openly LGBTQ candidates running for office this election cycle, including for governor, U.S. Congress, and state offices.
This latest round of endorsements follows his previous endorsement of five other out LGBTQ candidates, bringing the total to 22.
Obama’s first round of endorsements included Jared Polis, for Colorado governor; Katie Hill, for U.S. House, to represent California’s 25th District; Rochelle Galindo, for Colorado House of Representatives (District 50); Taylor Sappington, for Ohio House of Representatives (District 94); and Matt Wilson, for Georgia House of Representatives (District 80).
In gubernatorial races, the former president backed Kate Brown in Oregon, who is bisexual and became the first openly LGBTQ person in the country elected governor when she won a 2016 special election, and Christine Hallquist (below), running in Vermont to become the nation’s first trans governor.
In the Senate, he endorsed Tammy Baldwin (below), who became Wisconsin’s first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, and the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Senate, when she won her race in 2012. He has also gotten behind Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona, running to become the Senate’s first openly bisexual member.
In the House, which the Democrats are the most optimistic about flipping, Obama has endorsed Lauren Baer, from Florida’s 18th District; Angie Craig from Minnesota’s 2nd District, where she could become the first openly LGBTQ person from the state elected to the House; Sharice Davids (below), who could become the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from Kansas, running in District 3, and the first female Native American elected to Congress; Gina Ortiz Jones, running to become the first openly LGBTQ individual elected to Congress from Texas, and is running in District 3; and Chris Pappas, who could become the first LGBTQ person elected to Congress from New Hampshire, where he is running in District 1.
Obama also endorsed Nelson Araujo for Nevada Secretary of State, who would be the first openly LGBTQ person elected there statewide.
And in state legislature races, Obama is supporting Julian Cyr, for Massachusetts State Senate (Cape & Islands District); Gerri Cannon, for New Hampshire House of Representatives (District 18); Mason Donovan, for New Hampshire State Senate (District 7); Julie Johnson, for Texas House of Representatives (District 115); Melanie Scheible, for Nevada State Senate (District 9); Kristin Seale, running to become the only LGBTQ woman in the Pennsylvania State Legislature; and Lee Sondgrass, for Wisconsin State Senate (District 19).
The above candidates have also all been endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which is backing 272 openly LGBTQ candidates, the most in its 27 year history.
BIG NEWS: @BarackObama just endorsed 17 more LGBTQ candidates running across the country! Congratulations:
— Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) October 1, 2018
“President Obama is endorsing candidates who are passionate about public service and committed to making a positive difference in people’s lives, so it is unsurprising so many of our LGBTQ candidates are on the list,” said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.
“The experiences and struggles of LGBTQ leaders make them authentic, values-driven candidates who understand the pain and difficulties so many are facing right now. We are part of every community and every constituency–women, people of color, immigrants and religious minorities–and that diversity strengthens and refines our perspectives. LGBTQ people are running for office in historic numbers not just because our community needs us, but because America needs us.”