Yesterday’s Elections Bring More Historic Firsts For LGBTQ+ Candidates


At least 59 LGBTQ+ candidates won their bids for office across the country in yesterday’s elections, according to the Victory Fund.

Update: Liliana Bakhtiari has won their election runoff for the Atlantic City Council. They are now the first out Muslim official elected in the state of Georgia.

Updated 12/1/21 at 10:28 a.m. E.T.

At least 59 LGBTQ+ candidates won their bids for office across the country in yesterday’s elections, according to the Victory Fund.

Of the 131 Victory Fund candidates who were on the ballot yesterday, only 22 so far have lost their races. Another 50 races remain undecided.

A record number of six LGBTQ+ candidates were voted onto the New York City Council, including Crystal Hudson (District 35) and Kristin Richardson Jordan (District 9), who are the first out Black women elected to the council. Tiffany Cabán (District 22) and Lynn Schulman (District 29) will become the first out women from Queens elected to public office, while Erik Bottcher (District 3) and Chi Ossé (District 36) also won their respective races. 

Yesterday also marked a number of historic firsts for LGBTQ+ candidates. Christopher Coburn won his race for Bozeman City Commission, making him the first out Black candidate elected to office in Montana. In Cleveland, Rebecca Mauer became the first out woman elected to the City Council after defeating 16-year incumbent Anthony Brancatelli. Dion Manley, who won his race for a seat on the Gahanna Jefferson School Board, is now the first out trans person elected in Ohio, and one of only five trans men elected to office across the country. In Virginia, out women candidates Dawn Adams and Danica Roem won their bids for reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates; Roem remains the longest-serving out transgender legislator in U.S. history. 

And in Detroit, Gabriela Santiago-Romero has become the first out city councilwoman in the city’s history. She is also the first out Latinx woman elected in the state of Michigan. 

“As a Latinx woman and immigrant, her perspective will enrich policy discussions and ensure all people in Detroit are prioritized,” said Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker in a statement to the press. “Latinx people, LGBTQ people and women are severely underrepresented in government, but Gabriela’s victory will inspire more of them to consider public service and run for office in their communities.”  

LGBTQ+ candidates saw mixed results in mayoral races. In Colorado, incumbent Guyleen Castriotta was elected mayor of the city of Broomfield, becoming the first out mayor elected in the city’s history; she had previously been appointed Mayor Pro Tem by the City Council.   

In Buffalo, India Walton received only 41% of the vote, with 59% going to write-in candidates following a write-in campaign by her opponent, incumbent Byron Brown; CNN reports that the write-in votes will not be tabulated until November 17.

And in Minneapolis, Sheila Nezhad lost her bid to be the city’s next mayor after second-round counting in the ranked-vote system delivered a win for incumbent Jacob Frey

This article has been updated to reflect developing information in the Minneapolis mayoral race. 

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Liliana Bakhtiari had won their bid for City Council in Atlanta. Bakhtiari, who received just under 50% of the vote, will face opponent Mandy Mahoney in a run-off election on November 30.   

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