A Record Number of LGBTQ+ Candidates Are Seeking Office This Year, According to New Report

“A historic number of openly LGBTQ people are running for office this year and we have the opportunity to elect an unprecedented number on Election Day.”

1,006 openly LGBTQ+ candidates have run or are running for political office this year, according to a report released by the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund — making that a historic number.

The findings were published by the Victory Fund, a national organization that promotes LGBTQ+ candidates who seek public office, in its inaugural Out on the Trail report. The report tracks the number of openly LGBTQ+ candidates who have sought, or are seeking, office, comparing data from 2018, 2019, and 2020. 

According to the report, at least 574 of the 1,006 candidates will appear on the general election ballot in November — an increase of 33% from the 2018 general election. 

The report also found that 31% of the openly LGBTQ+ candidates identified as persons of color, making the LGBTQ+ candidate pool more diverse than that of the general population, where persons of color presented 10% of overall candidates. While the percentage of LGBTQ+ men of color candidates is proportional to that of the overall U.S. population of men of color — at 19% — LGBTQ+ women of color make up only 10% of the candidates, while women of color make up 20% of the population.

In some demographics, the report found a significant increase in candidate numbers. The total number of queer and bisexual candidates is higher for 2020, while the number of queer, non-binary, and gender non-conforming numbers soared from 6% to 25%.

However, the proportion of lesbian candidates did drop, as did the number of transgender persons seeking office, from 48 in 2018 to 34 in 2020.  

The report also identified how many openly LGBTQ+ candidates ran for, or are running for, office in each state. Florida, California, and Texas have the highest numbers of openly LGBTQ+ candidates. Alabama remains the only state where no openly LGBTQ+ were found.

“A historic number of openly LGBTQ people are running for office this year and we have the opportunity to elect an unprecedented number on Election Day,” said Annise Parker, President and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund in a statement to the press. “While LGBTQ candidates are significantly more diverse than U.S. candidates overall, we must continue to break down the barriers LGBTQ people of color, women and trans people face when considering a run for office. Our government must reflect the diversity of America.”


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