“2017 will be remembered as the year of the trans candidate.”
This year’s election night was a historic one for the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ candidates around the country have been working hard, talking to voters, fundraising, and spreading their message. That hard work paid off. 40 LGBTQ candidates around the country won their races, including five transgender candidates—Danica Roem in Virginia, Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham in Minnesota, Lisa Middleton in California, and Tyler Titus in Pennsylvania. These wins and several others more than doubled the number of elected openly transgender officials in the United States, creating much needed visibility for the trans community and more pressure on lawmakers to make progress on equal rights legislation.
The most talked about victory last Tuesday was Danica Roem’s election to the Virginia House of Delegates, unseating “Bigot” Bob Marshall, Virginia’s self-proclaimed “chief homophobe” and creator of the state’s “bathroom bill.” Danica overcame severe transphobic attacks to win a crucial election, bringing hope to thousands of LGBTQ Virginians.
Four of the five winning trans candidates on Tuesday night were alum of our Candidate & Campaign Training, and three are former Victory Empowerment Fellows — Lisa Middleton and Andrea Jenkins in 2016, and Phillipe Cunningham in 2015. Victory Institute’s trainings have proven to be a great asset for LGBTQ candidates seeking elected office, and the fellowship is specifically focused on increasing the number of trans people and people of color who run.
It was a big day for Victory Institute’s people, and we are thrilled to have played a role in their big wins. Are you thinking of running for office? Then consider one of our trainings or fellowships, or join us at the annual 2017 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference held in Washington, D.C. this December 6 – 9.