LGBTQ Democratic Nominees at an All-Time High Nationwide

A rainbow wave is sweeping the country.

Texas Democrat Lupe Valdez is the nation’s first openly lesbian gubernatorial nominee of any major party Photo by Wikimedia Commons

A rainbow wave is sweeping the country, as LGBTQ Democratic candidates—vastly more than ever before—are being nominated for office at the federal and state levels.

Progressive gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, running against incumbent Andrew Cuomo in New York’s Democratic primary, hopes to join those ranks as voters head to the polls today.

Most recently, on Tuesday in New Hampshire, Chris Pappas won the Democratic primary to become the state’s first openly gay member of Congress. Lisa Bunker, a progressive candidate running as a representative for the New Hampshire state legislature, was also nominated to become the first transgender elected official in the state. If elected, Mason Donovan will be the first LGBTQ Democratic member of the New Hampshire State Senate, while Carlos Cardona will become the first openly LGBTQ person of color elected to the state legislature. Dartmouth student Garrett Muscatel, if elected, will be the youngest LGBTQ person in the state legislature.

Beyond New Hampshire and across the entire nation, Democrats are nominating an unprecedented number of LGBTQ candidates for Congress and state legislatures.

So far, during the 2018 primary season, Democrats have nominated at least 17 LGBTQ people for federal office in both houses of Congress across 12 different states. A total of 11 LGBTQ people have won nominations for statewide office, including four for governor (Colorado, Oregon, Texas and Vermont).

There are now seven LGBTQ Democratic nominees in Texas, including Lupe Valdez, who is the first openly lesbian gubernatorial nominee of any major party. If elected, Valdez would also become the first openly LGBTQ person of color to serve as governor and the first Latinx governor of Texas.

In Vermont, Christine Hallquist is the first openly transgender gubernatorial nominee for any major political party in United States history. Hallquist, if elected, will become the nation’s first openly trans governor and highest-ranking trans elected official.

The extensive wave of LGBTQ Democratic nominees has swept even deep-red southern states such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.