According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, at least 1,006 LGBTQ Americans ran for public office this election cycle. More than 570 of those candidates will appear on the ballot on Election Day this Tuesday, November 3. That’s a record high for the U.S.—and yet another sign that the “Rainbow Wave” sweeping America isn’t slowing its roll any time soon.
Among LGBTQ candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund, 60 are people of color, and 15 are running for spots in the U.S. Congress. While we’ll obviously be monitoring Joe Biden and President Donald Trump’s face-off for the White House, NewNowNext also plans to keep an eye on the many out candidates running for other elected positions nationwide. Below, find 12 races involving LGBTQ candidates we’ll be watching this week.
Sarah McBride in DelawareTasos Katopodis/Getty Images
After her primary win earlier this year, McBride, a veteran LGBTQ activist and Delaware native, is almost guaranteed to become the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history.
State Rep. Brianna Titone in ColoradoAaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Jon Hoadley in Michigan
In Michigan’s 6th District, @JonHoadley is taking on the establishment to flip a key seat for Democrats in one of the country’s most competitive races. Join Jon and @AnniseParker today at 2PM ET on FB Live to learn how you can help him win! https://t.co/spfSnHYxnB pic.twitter.com/VsVqNa5ji4
— LGBTQ Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) October 27, 2020
Hoadley, who is openly gay, is running for a congressional seat (MI-6) in one of the country’s most competitive races. A win for him would turn the seat blue. Unfortunately, his competitors are well aware of the seat’s importance: Hoadley was also targeted with anti-LGBTQ ads.
Gina Ortiz Jones in TexasThomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call
Running in what the Victory Fund has dubbed a “red to blue district,” Jones (TX-23), a Democrat, could become the first ever LGBTQ candidate to represent her state in Congress. (She previously ran for Congress in 2018 but was narrowly defeated by Republican incumbent Will Hurd.) If elected, Jones would also become the first LGBTQ Filipina in Congress.
Stephanie Byers in KansasDia Dipasupil/Getty Images for GLSEN
Byers, a GLSEN Award-winning educator, could become the first out trans state legislator in Kansas’ history. A win would also make her the first transgender person of color to serve on a state legislature in the country.
Mondaire Jones in New YorkTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
After his primary win, Jones (NY-17) is pretty much guaranteed to secure a congressional seat, a win that would make him one of America’s first Black LGBTQ members of Congress.
Ritchie Torres in New YorkNoam Galai/Getty Images
Back in June, Torres (NY-15) made headlines when he beat out his opponent, an infamously anti-LGBTQ Democrat, in his district’s congressional primary. Along with Jones, the Bronx native and New York City council member is well positioned to become one of the first Black LGBTQ people elected to Congress.
Brandon Thomas in Tennessee
I'm running for TN HD 49 to create a family-friendly economy that works for everyone – no exceptions. If you live in District 49, I'd be honored to earn your vote on November 3rd. And if you believe strongly in what we're fighting for, head to https://t.co/FumHEDvOM6 and join us. pic.twitter.com/4VqRJB470H
— Brandon Thomas (@Brandon4Tenn) August 8, 2020
Thomas, a Black gay Democrat, is running in one of just four states in the U.S. that have yet to elect an openly LGBTQ state legislator. If elected, he’d make political history in Tennessee.
Pat Hackett in Indiana
Today is Pat and Rita's 22nd anniversary! As the tradition goes, 50 is gold and 25 is silver. For 22, how about a donation to elect Pat Hackett to Congress? https://t.co/FvdoukRAe8 #IN02 pic.twitter.com/8a9STH4X41
— Pat Hackett for Congress (@HackettCongress) November 2, 2020
A win for Hackett (ID-2) would make her Indiana’s first out LGBTQ representative in Congress.
Madeline Eden in Texas
Our candidates will flip the Texas House. pic.twitter.com/InqYRiQDEG
— LGBTQ Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) October 31, 2020
Eden, a Democrat, is one of the many LGBTQ Dems whose win would help turn Texas’ state House blue. She’d also become the first openly trans state legislator in Texas history.
Jessica Katzenmeyer in Wisconsin
We’re back with the Biden bus today! pic.twitter.com/3MNfBLWAPH
— Jessica Katzenmeyer (@Jess4Assembly) October 31, 2020
If elected, Katzenmeyer, a Wisconsin Democrat, would become her state’s first out trans state lawmaker.
Roger Montoya in New MexicoMike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
The 2019 CNN Hero is running for a seat on New Mexico’s House of Representatives–and he won’t let Republicans’ attempts to shame him for starring in a gay adult film years ago get him down.