LGBTQ candidates usher in historical Rainbow Wave

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Over 150 openly LGBTQ political candidates won their races nationwide in the 2018 U.S. midterm election, a historic Rainbow Wave.

154 candidates declared victory in a wide array of races. Each of the candidates was endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the national group which exclusively endorses openly LGBTQ candidates. “From the U.S. Congress to governors’ mansions to state legislatures and city councils, we are making historic inroads and growing our political power in ways unimaginable even a few years ago,” Victory Fund President Annise Parker shared. “An unprecedented number of LGBTQ candidates ran this year, fueled by attacks on our equality from the federal government and state legislatures, but driven by a desire to better the lives of all constituents.”

“We shattered lavender ceilings, achieved historic firsts and brought more LGBTQ representation to legislative bodies across the nation,” she continued, “which will help push equality forward. But we needed more LGBTQ candidates not just because our community needs us, but because America needs us.

“LGBTQ candidates won over independents and even Republicans to win in some of the most competitive districts in the nation, proving out LGBTQ candidates can secure big wins in tough places,” Parker shared. “With more LGBTQ candidates in the U.S. House than ever before, we have the opportunity to finally pass equality legislation too long ignored.”

An impressive number of firsts at the state legislative level were also achieved. Only seven states had never elected an openly LGBTQ person to their state legislature prior to Nov. 6, now three.

“While our attention is often focused on Donald Trump and Congress, it is in our state legislatures where the most horrific attacks on LGBTQ equality are occurring,” Parker advised. “We know out LGBTQ officials significantly influence the votes of their colleagues on equality issues … these leaders will be game changers.”

Transgender representation also increased nationwide. “Trans people are still severely underrepresented in government,” Parker said. “The revolution that began last year is now becoming a regular political storyline.”

According to Parker, “these values-driven leaders are ready to fight for the issues that matter most to their constituents and they will lead with solutions, not the divisiveness that characterizes too much of our politics right now.” She added that the LGBTQ victories “will inspire more LGBTQ leaders to run for office in coming elections.”

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