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.

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Lesbian marriage equality lawyer elected Mich. attorney general

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A lesbian lawyer who was a lead attorney in the lawsuit challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage — one of several cases that led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule for marriage equality nationwide — has won election to become the next attorney general of the Wolverine State.

In an extremely close race that wasn’t called by media outlets until Nov. 7, Nessel, a Democrat and former prosecutor, won with 48.5 percent of the vote compared to the 46.8 percent claimed by her Republican opponent, Speaker of Michigan House Tom Leonard.

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Lesbian Angie Craig unseats anti-LGBT House lawmaker in Minnesota

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A lesbian candidate running for a U.S. House seat in Minnesota has unseated an anti-LGBT lawmaker from the U.S. House, making her poised to become the first openly gay mother in Congress.

At a around 8:15 local time on Nov 6, major media outlets declared Angie Craig, a business executive who’s also mother, the winner in her bid to unseat Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) and represent Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district.

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Tammy Baldwin wins re-election to U.S. Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) won re-election Nov. 6 to her seat representing Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate, becoming the first out lesbian and openly LGBT person to win re-election to the upper chamber of Congress.

CBS News declared Baldwin, a Democrat, the winner over her Republican opponent, State Sen. Leah Vukmir, shortly after polls closed in Wisconsin at 8 pm local time. 

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Jared Polis becomes first out gay person to win election as governor

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The LGBT community achieved a major first on Nov. 6 when Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) became the first openly gay person to win election as governor in the United States.

NBC News declared Polis, a Democrat and five-term member of Congress, the winner over his Republican opponent in the Colorado gubernatorial race, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, shortly after polls closed in Colorado at 7 pm local time.

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Trump’s lesbian pick for judiciary enjoys bipartisan support, breezy hearing

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In contrast to other judicial nominees of President Trump with anti-LGBT records, Mary Rowland — an out lesbian — enjoyed bipartisan support Wednesday during a breezy confirmation hearing.

Trump nominated Rowland, who has served a federal magistrate judge in Illinois since 2012, in June for a seat as a district judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, making her the only openly LGBT pick out of about 140 of his judicial nominations.

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In first, trans candidate wins major party nomination for governor’s race

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a historic moment, Christine Hallquist won the Democratic nomination Tuesday to run to become the next Vermont governor, making her the first transgender candidate ever to obtain a major party nomination in a gubernatorial race.

The Associated Press declared Hallquist, former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, won the Democratic Party in Vermont at 9:14 pm shortly after polls closed at 7 pm. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Hallquist obtained 48 percent of the vote, compared to 22 percent for environmental activist James Ehlers, 21 percent for progressive activist Brenda Siege and 8 percent high school student Ethan Sonneborn. (Vermont has no age requirement for candidates.)

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Lesbian sheriff wins Dem nomination in Texas gubernatorial race

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former Dallas County Sheriff and out lesbian Lupe Valdez won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night to take on anti-LGBTQ Republican incumbent in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial election.

According to results from The New York Times, Valdez secured 53.1 percent of the vote in the Democratic run-off compared to the 46.9 percent won by her competitor, businessperson Andrew White. After polls closed in Texas at 7 p.m., the Associated Press called the race a few hours later at 9:37 Central Time.

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Madaleno mocks Democratic opponent at Victory Fund brunch

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno speaks at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s annual National Champagne Brunch in D.C. on April 8, 2018. (D-Montgomery County)

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) on Sunday at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch in D.C. mocked a Democratic opponent who said he “prances around Annapolis.”

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Amazon search for HQ2 linked to LGBT rights?

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A rendering of Baltimore’s Port Covington neighborhood, one of many contenders for the new Amazon HQ2. Image courtesy Plank Industries.

In a little-noticed development, Amazon’s surprise announcement in September that it plans to open a second headquarters has prompted growing speculation on whether the corporate giant will consider a state or city’s laws on LGBT issues as a factor in choosing the location of the new headquarters.

Based on the size and scope of its current corporate headquarters in Seattle, observers familiar with the tech company say the new headquarters will likely result in a workforce of 50,000 and a $5 billion boost to the local economy of the city and state Amazon chooses.

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Annise Parker on leading Victory Fund: ‘My focus is on the candidate’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Annise Parker is now CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

After more than 40 years of activism and three terms as mayor of Houston, Annise Parker has taken on a new leadership role as CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute.

The change in leadership for the organizations was announced Friday at the annual International LGBTQ Leaders Conference. Parker, 61, told the crowd times have changed since she began her activism in the 1970s, but too many LGBT people “still have to fear” many of the dangers LGBT people faced decades ago.

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Aisha Moodie-Mills: ‘It is time for me to leave Victory’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Aisha Moodie-Mills has announced her departure from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

The head of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Victory Institute announced Friday “it is time for me to leave” the organization, announcing her intention to step down to take on battles she said are waged by the far-right.

Aisha Moodie-Mills, who served as CEO of both organizations for two-and-a-half years, made the announcement at the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference, which is taking place at Washington Hilton in D.C.

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