Here’s How LGBTQ Candidates Did in Yesterday’s Primaries

A number of LGBTQ candidates won their primary elections in a positive sign for progressives ahead of November.

A total of eight states held primary elections yesterday, four of which—Alabama, California, Iowa, and New Jersey—had LGBTQ candidates on the ballot. A total of 17 LGBTQ candidates ran, and a number of them racked up big wins last night.

Another two races are too close to call, including the highly watched San Francisco mayoral race, where Mark Leno is hoping to become the city’s first openly LGBTQ mayor.


Leno is holding onto a tight lead against London Breed of about 1,200 votes, at 50.42% of the vote compared to Breed’s 49.58%, and many votes left to be counted, reports ABC 7.

Update (6/14): Leno has conceded the race to Breed, who has become the first African American woman elected mayor of San Francisco.

State Senator Ricardo Lara is one step closer to becoming California’s first openly LGBTQ statewide elected official, after finishing a narrow second behind Republican Steve Poizner. Due to the state’s two-tier primary system, he will now face him in the general election.

Katie Hill, the executive director of a group dedicated to ending homelessness, is running to become the only LGBTQ woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Her race, like Leno’s, is still too close to call. Hill is currently in second, behind Steve Knight, who has advanced after winning the majority of votes, and ahead of Bryan Caforio. Hill has 20.2% of the vote to Caforio’s 18.3% at time of writing, with 100% of precincts partially reporting.

Jimmy Dutra, running for Santa Cruz County Supervisor, placed second, with 26% of the vote, allowing him to advance to the general election where he will face off against incumbent Greg Caput.

Jeffrey Prang won his reelection campaign to remain Los Angeles County Assessor, with over 46% of the vote. Prang previously served 18 years as a member of West Hollywood City Council, including four terms as Mayor.

Joaquin Rivera was also successful in his reelection effort, winning over 86% of the vote. He was first elected in 2010, and was also reelected in 2014.

The following candidates won their elections running uncontested, or contested only by one other candidate thus making their advancement a foregone conclusion: Kevin Beiser, for San Diego Unified School Board President; Jennifer Campbell, for San Diego City Council; Sabrina Cervantes, for California Assembly; Mark Takano, for U.S. House of Representatives; and Joy Silver, for California State Senate.

The following candidates lost their elections: Linda Deos, for Davis City Council; Eric Gudz, for Davis City Council; Shay Franco-Clausen, for San Jose City Council; and Dave Myers, for San Diego County Sheriff.


In Alabama, Neil Rafferty is headed for a runoff election in the race for the House District 54 seat to replace Patricia Todd, in which he is facing off against Jacqueline Gray Miller. Todd, the first openly gay lawmaker in Alabama, has endorsed Rafferty.

The former Marine won 48% of the vote, but he needed 50% to avoid a runoff with Miller.

Felicia Stewart, who is also running for the Alabama House of Representatives, in District 46, won her primary running unopposed.

New Jersey

Julia Fahl won her bid to become Mayor of Lambertville.

Fahl unseated 27-year incumbent Mayor Dave DelVecchio in the race-deciding primary. Fahl won by 145 votes, 757 to 631, giving her a decisive 55%-45% win in the small town of fewer than 4,000, New Jersey Globe reports.


Liz Bennett ran her race for Iowa House of Representatives, running unopposed.

In other news, Zach Wahls, who made international headlines seven years ago for delivering an impassioned speech before the Iowa House of Representatives in defense of his lesbian mothers, in response to efforts to limit the rights of same-sex couples in the state, won his primary race for Iowa Senate District 37.

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