For the first time, over 1,000 out LGBTQ+ officials will serve in elected office across the country, according to the Victory Fund.
The influx results from the wave of LGBTQ+ candidates who ran for office this year. Victory Fund, which sponsors LGBTQ+ candidates for political office, reports that of the 131 candidates it endorsed this election cycle, 83 won their races on Tuesday.
“LGBTQ candidates across the country had a very successful Election Night and when they take office, we will have more than 1,000 out elected officials serving for the first time,” said Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker in a statement. “Although the national media spotlight is focused on politics in Washington, D.C., it is state and local leaders like the ones who won on Election Night that most impact the daily lives of residents.”
The election saw a number of firsts for out candidates running for city council. Rebecca Mauer (Cleveland) and Gabriela Santiago-Romero (Detroit) became the first out women elected to city council in their respective cities. Voters in New York City sent six LGBTQ+ persons to the City Council, the most ever. And in Montana, Christopher Coburn won a seat on the Bozeman City Commission, making him the first out Black individual elected to office in the state.
Non-binary candidates were also successful in Tuesday’s races, including Thu Nguyen who, after winning a seat on the Worcester City Council, is the first non-binary person elected to office in Massachusetts. Victory Fund reports that there are now 14 non-binary persons in office across the country.
Despite the success of LGBTQ+ candidates in Tuesday’s elections, “key losses for pro-equality candidates and the continued barrage of anti-LGBTQ bills must be a wakeup call for LGBTQ people and allies,” Parker adds. “The 2022 election cycle begins now and the anti-LGBTQ attacks and fights may be more brutal than ever. LGBTQ candidates could determine whether pro-equality majorities are maintained in Congress and in state legislatures throughout the country in 2022.”