LGBTQ Candidates Make History in Virginia, Nationwide


Going into yesterday’s elections, LGBTQ persons nationwide were nervous, given the change in political climate since the 2016 election.  Many of those fears were unfounded as LGBTQ candidates and allies broke records and won seats not only in statewide and local races in Virginia, but nationwide.  History was made nationwide as many ‘firsts’ were recorded at all levels of government.

The Victory Fund, a group dedicated to getting openly LGBTQ Americans elected to office at all levels of government, endorsed/supported 61 candidates nationwide, including Danica Roem in Northern Virginia.  As of this morning, 41 of their endorsed candidates won their elections, with several other races still too close to call or yet to be decided.  Among the biggest wins nationwide are:

  • Jenny Durkan will become the first openly lesbian mayor of Seattle and one of two lesbian big city mayors;
  • Danica Roem unseated 26 year incumbent Virginia state Delegate “Bigot Bob” Marshall.  Roem becomes the only out trans state legislator in the entire nation; and
  • Andrea Jenkins won her race for the Minneapolis City Council, becoming the first out trans person to win a council seat in a major U.S. city.

Nationwide, the following candidates have won their seats (as of 10:05 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 9)

  • Phillipe Cunningham, Minneapolis City Council (MN): The results are in! Phillipe becomes the first trans man elected to Minneapolis City Council, joining Andrea Jenkins
  • Lisa Middleton, Palm Springs City Council (CA): Lisa is now the first trans person ever elected to a nonjudicial position in the entire state of California.
  • Christy Holstege, Palm Springs City Council (CA):
  • Denise Simmons, Cambridge City Council (MA): Denise made history as the first Black, openly lesbian mayor in the country.
  • Chris Wharton, Salt Lake City Council (UT)
  • Dean Dafis, Maplewood Township Committee (NJ): Dean is the first LGBTQ elected official in Maplewood, New Jersey.
  • Alex Wan (Atlanta, GA): secured enough votes to be in the runoff on December 5. Alex will be the first openly gay, Asian American man elected president of the Atlanta City Council.
  • Guyleen Castriotta, Broomfield City Council (CO): Guyleen’s election makes her the first openly lesbian member of the Broomfield City Council.
  • Nick Komives, Toledo City Council (OH)
  •  Zachary DeWolf, Seattle School Board (WA): Zachary is the first openly LGBTQ member of the Seattle School Board.
  • Jimmy Pearson, Dutchess County Legislator (NY)
  • Peter Spadafore, Lansing City Council (MI)
  • Paul Durham, Tuscon City Council (AZ)
  • Tamaya Dennard, Cincinnati City Council (OH)
  • Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati City Council (OH)
  • Ryan Messer, Cincinnati Board of Education (OH)
  • Michael Góngora, Miami Beach Commissioner (FL)
  • Amy Zanelli, Lehigh County Commissioner (PA): Amy’s victory makes her the first and only LGBTQ member of the Lehigh County Commission.
  • Jeff Harris, Westwood City Council (KS): Jeff is the first openly gay man elected to the Westwood City Council.
  • Matthew Miller, Newton School Committee (MA): Matthew‘s victory makes him the first openly LGBTQ election official in Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Vernetta Alston, Durham City Council (NC)Richard Conti, Albany Common Council (NY)
  • Tyler Titus, Erie School Board (PA): Tyler‘s victory makes him the first openly transgender elected official in Pennsylvania.
  • Ed Zipprich, Red Bank City Council (NJ)
  • Reed Gusciora, New Jersey State Assembly (NJ)
  • Carol Becker, Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation (MN)
  • Tim Eustace, New Jersey State Assembly (NJ)
  • Karen Stegman, Chapel Hill Town Council (NC)
  • LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte City Council (NC)
  • Nelson Roman, Holyoke City Council (MA)
  • Patrick Wojahn, Mayor of College Park (MD)
  • Michael Fenton, Springfield City Council (MA)
  •  Alex Morse, Mayor of Holyoke (MA)
  • Lydia Lavelle, Mayor of Carrboro (NC): The first openly LGBTQ mayor of North Carolina.
  • Lawrence Webb, Falls Church School Board (VA)
  • Ben Allatt, Harrisburg City Council (PA)
  • Corey Johnson, New York City Council (NY)
  • Mark Levine, Virginia House of Delegates (VA)

Check back as these results will be updated throughout the day.