Wednesday, August 8, 2018

DNC: LGBTQ Candidates Make History in Democratic Primaries Across U.S.

This week, Democrats in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington voted in primaries, giving LGBTQ people another opportunity to expand our representation in Congress, statewide offices, and state legislatures across the country.
Here’s a snapshot via the DNC of some of the new LGBTQ candidate successes so far this primary season:
LAST NIGHT
KANSAS
Sharice Davids (KS-03): If elected, Davids will become Kansas’ first openly LGBTQ congresswoman in history. She could also make history as one of the first two  Native American women to be seated in Congress.

MICHIGAN
Dana Nessel (MI Attorney General): If elected, Nessel will become Michigan’s first openly LGBTQ statewide elected official and the country’s second LGBTQ Attorney General. Nessel joins Michigan’s first entirely female statewide candidate slate led by gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer.

Jeremy Moss (SD-11): If elected, Moss will become Michigan’s only openly gay state Senator. He was previously the second openly gay member of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Garnet Lewis (SD-26): If elected, Lewis will become Michigan’s only openly LGBTQ female State Senator.

MISSOURI
Kathy Ellis (MO-08): If elected, Ellis will become Missouri’s first openly LGBTQ Congresswoman in history.

Ryan Dillon (SD-16): If elected, Dillon will become Missouri’s only openly LGBTQ State Senator.

Ian Mackey (HD-87): If elected, Mackey would become the third openly LGBTQ elected official in the Missouri House of Representatives.

WASHINGTON
Claire Wilson (SD-30): If elected, Wilson will become the third  member of the Washington State Senate’s LGBTQ Caucus.

Kathy Gillespie (HD-18 [2]): If elected, Kathy will become the fifth member of the Washington House of Representatives’ LGBTQ Caucus.

OTHER NEW ADDITIONS
ALABAMA (Primary runoff - July 17)
Neil Rafferty (HD-54): If elected, Rafferty will become the only openly gay legislator in Alabama’s House of Representatives and the state’s first openly LGBTQ veteran legislator.

OHIO (Primary - May 8)
Ohio Democrats also nominated 7 additional LGBTQ candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, including:
  • Melinda Miller (SD-31)
  • Zach Dickerson  (HD-42)
  • Rebecca Howard (HD-53)
  • Jeremy Blake (HD-71)
  • Garrett Baldwin (HD-85)
  • Taylor Sappington (HD-94)
  • John McManus (HD-41)
TEXAS (Primary - March 6)
Steven Kirkland (Texas Supreme Court): If elected, Kirkland will become the first openly LGBTQ member of the Texas Supreme Court and first openly LGBTQ statewide official in Texas.

Julie Johnson (HD-115): If elected, Johnson will become the 3rd openly LGBTQ member of the Texas House of Representatives.

Mark Phariss (SD-08): If elected, Pharris will become the first openly LGBTQ state Senator in Texas.

PREVIOUS PRIMARIES
ALABAMA
Felicia Stewart (HD-46): If elected, Stewart will become Alabama’s second openly lesbian legislator.

ARKANSAS
Tippi McCullough (HD-33): Facing no Republican opposition in November, McCullough will become the only openly LGBTQ person in the Arkansas state legislature. McCullough’s win comes 5 years after she was forced to resign her teaching job because she was LGBTQ.
CALIFORNIA
Ricardo Lara (CA Insurance Commissioner): If elected, Lara will become California’s first LGBTQ statewide elected official, and the only LGBTQ person of color elected to statewide office in the nation.

Katie Hill (CA-25): If Hill prevails over Republican Steve Knight, she will become California’s first openly LGBTQ congresswoman.

Numerous LGBTQ candidates are poised to make the California state legislature even more diverse including:
  • Joy Silver (SD-28)
  • Sonia Aery (AD-3)
  • Jackie Smith (AD-06)
  • Sunday Gover (AD-77)
COLORADO
Jared Polis (Governor): If elected, Polis will become the first openly gay governor elected in the nation.

Brianna Titone (HD-27): If elected, Titone will become the first openly transgender state legislator in Colorado.

Alex Valdez (HD- 05): If elected, Valdez will expand the already diverse LGBTQ caucus of the Colorado House of Representatives, adding an important LGBTQ Latinx voice to the table.

GEORGIA
Matthew Wilson (HD-58): If elected, Wilson will join numerous openly LGBTQ officials pushing back on Georgia Republicans’ anti-LGBTQ legislative agenda. Georgia’s LGBTQ caucus is among the most diverse LGBTQ caucuses in the nation, including:

  • Park Cannon (HD-58):  first openly queer woman of color elected in Georgia
  • Sam Park (HD-101): first openly gay Asian American elected in Georgia and first openly gay man elected to the state legislature
  • Renitta Shannon (HD-84): first openly bisexual woman of color to serve in Georgia.
  • Karla Drennan (HD-85): first openly lesbian member of the Georgia House of Representatives
INDIANA
J.D. Ford (SD-29):  If elected, Ford will become the first out member of the Indiana state Senate.
Indiana Democrats have also nominated 3 candidates for the Indiana state House, who would all make history together as the first openly LGBTQ members of the body:

  • Thomasina Marsili (HD-46)
  • Joe Lannan (HD-63)
  • Sarah Stivers (HD-70)
ILLINOIS
Lamont Robinson (HD-05): If elected, Robinson will become the first openly gay African-American state legislator in Illinois history.
Maggie Trevor (HD-54): If elected, Trevor will become the 2nd openly LGBTQ woman in the Illinois General Assembly, joining Kelly Cassidy.
MARYLAND
Gabriel Acevero (HD-39): If elected, Acevero will become the first openly gay Afro-Latino elected to the Maryland General Assembly.

Mary Washington (SD-43): If elected, Washington will become the first LGBTQ person of color in the Maryland State Senate.

MONTANA
Amelia Marquez (HD-52): If elected in November, Amelia will not only flip another legislative from red-to-blue, but also become Montana’s first openly transgender legislator, and dependant on other elections, the nation’s second openly transgender state legislator.

NEVADA
Nelson Araujo (Secretary of State): If elected, Araujo will not only flip the Secretary of State’s office from red to blue but also become the state’s first openly LGBTQ statewide official and one of the first LGBTQ people of color elected to statewide office in the nation.

NORTH DAKOTA
Joshua Boschee (Secretary of State): If elected, Boschee will become one of the youngest statewide officials in North Dakota and the state’s first openly LGBTQ statewide official.

OHIO
Rick Neal (OH-15): If elected, Neal will beocme the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Ohio. Neal will be challenging NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers.
Nickie Antonio (SD-23): Antonio became the first openly LGBTQ candidate elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010. If elected, she will also become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Ohio state Senate.
PENNSYLVANIA
Malcolm Kenyatta (HD-181): Kenyatta overcame an overtly bigoted smear campaign and if elected, will become the Pennsylvania House’s first openly LGBTQ person of color. Kenyatta also served a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention hosted by the DNC.
Kristen Seale (HD-168): Seale is the first openly queer Democratic nominee in Pennsylvania. If elected, she will be the first openly LGBTQ woman in the Pennsylvania state House.
Daniel Smith Jr. (HD-12): Smith is challenging Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, one of the most anti-LGBTQ state legislators in Pennsylvania, who sued to prevent a gay couple from marrying, introduced legislation banning same-sex marriage and said openly gay Rep. Brian Sims was a “lying homosexual” and “in open rebellion against God’s law.”
OREGON
Jamie McLeod-Skinner (OR-02):  McLeod-Skinner was the first out lesbian elected to the Santa Clara City Council and will be taking on Congressman Greg Walden, former chair of the NRCC. If elected, McLeod Skinner would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Oregon.
NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina Democrats have nominated a candidate in every single legislative district this year, including more LGBTQ people than ever, including:

  • Brandon Anderson (SD-45)
  • Allison Dahle (HD-11)
  • Marcia Morgan (HD-19)
  • Dan Whitten (HD-15)
  • Deb Butler (HD-18)
  • Linda Bennett (HD-26)
  • Cecil Brockman (HD-60)
TEXAS
Lupe Valdez: Lupe Valdez became the first openly lesbian gubernatorial nominee of any major party. If elected, she would also be the first openly LGBTQ person of color to serve as governor and the first Latinx to serve as governor of Texas.
Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-23): If elected, Ortiz Jones would be Congress’ first openly LGBTQ woman of color and first openly LGBTQ Asian American woman.
Eric Holguin (TX-27):  If elected, Holguin would become Congress’ first openly LGBTQ Latinx congressman and the first openly gay Latinx man in Congress.
Lorie Burch (TX-03): If elected, Burch would be among the first LGBTQ congresswomen from Texas.


UTAH

Derek Kitchen (SD-02): If elected in November, Kitchen will be the only openly LGBTQ member of the Utah state legislature.

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