Yesterday, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 24 more LGBTQ candidates, raising to 133 the total number of candidates supported this cycle. Two newly endorsed candidates (including Utah’s Derek Kitchen) and three previously endorsed candidates garnered Spotlight status, a designation awarded to state or local candidates in history-making races. Additionally, trans candidate Christine Hallquist upgraded to Game Changer status in her groundbreaking race for Vermont governor. Spotlight and Game Changer candidates receive additional support and services from Victory Fund to ensure they win on Election Day.
Among the storylines emerging from the most recent endorsements:
Trans Gubernatorial Candidate Breaking New Barriers
Vermont gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist will become the first transgender gubernatorial nominee of a major American political party if she defeats her three primary opponents in August. With a November election win, she would become the first out trans person to serve as governor, and just the second openly LGBTQ governor ever elected.
LGBTQ Candidate Takes the Fight to Bigoted Incumbent
Spotlight candidate Dan Smith, running for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, will take on the most anti-LGBTQ member of the state legislature, Daryl Metcalfe. Beyond voting against all pro-equality legislation, Metcalfe has garnered national attention for multiple homophobic outbursts — most recently calling the only LGBTQ state legislator a “lying homosexual.” The race is reminiscent of Virginia Delegate Danica Roem’s successful effort to defeat anti-LGBTQ incumbent Bob Marshall last November.
Unprecedented Number of LGBTQ Statewide Candidates
Dana Nessel, a candidate for Michigan Attorney General who upgraded to Game Changer status, is one of 17 openly LGBTQ endorsed candidates running for statewide office this cycle — including five gubernatorial candidates. Currently, just seven LGBTQ people serve in statewide positions, include only one out governor. More LGBTQ people are running for statewide office this cycle than at any other time in U.S. history.
The complete list of today’s endorsements is below.
Derek Kitchen, Utah State Senate, District 2
Dan Smith, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 12
Game Changer Candidate
Christine Hallquist, Governor of Vermont
Candidates Upgraded to Spotlight
JD Ford, Indiana State Senate, District 29
Cedric McMinn, Florida House of Representatives, District 109
Kristin Seale, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 168
Candidates Upgraded to Game Changer
Dana Nessel, Michigan Attorney General
This is the seventh round of endorsements by Victory Fund for the 2018 election cycle. Every currently running openly LGBTQ-endorsed candidate is at victoryfund.org/ourcandidates.
Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.