40+ LGBTQ Leaders Ready to Run for Office After South Florida Victory Institute Candidate & Campaign Training

Florida State Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and David Richardson, former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Among Trainers

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Yesterday Victory Institute concluded its intensive four-day Candidate & Campaign Training in Ft. Lauderdale having prepared more than 40 LGBTQ leaders from Florida and across the country to run for office. The energy and urgency was evident throughout the four days – as many participants indicated the recent presidential election and attacks on LGBTQ equality had motivated them to seek public office. The signature Victory Institute training – held several times per year – was held in Florida because of its extremely low levels of LGBTQ representation and failure to provide basic protections to LGBTQ residents.

“As LGBTQ equality is threatened across the nation, our Candidate & Campaign Training participants refuse to standby and are determined to take action,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of Victory Institute. “These leaders committed to learning the skills and tools necessary to run for office and win because they understand that representation is power. States with strong LGBTQ representation have more LGBTQ-inclusive laws, introduce fewer anti-equality bills, and have better quality of life for LGBTQ people. These leaders will be that representation.”

Victory Institute has seen a surge in applications to attend its Candidate & Campaign Trainings and Leadership Summits since the presidential election, and will double the number of trainees this year. Because of the high demand, Victory Institute will also partner with social justice organizations and conferences to provide new introductory campaign training sessions to help LGBTQ people take first steps in running for office.

Alumni of the Candidate & Campaign Trainings include U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO, 2nd District), former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. The South Florida training was led by former Houston Mayor Annise Parker; Florida state Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and David Richardson; District of Columbia Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden; Joe Fuld, President of The Campaign Workshop; Martín Diego Garcia, Director of Public and Political Leadership at Wellstone Action; Kelton Morgan, President of Campaign Services Group; and Victory Institute staff.

Additional Candidate & Campaign Trainings will be held in Seattle July 20 – July 23, and in Denver September 21 – September 23.

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Victory Institute

Victory Institute works to increase the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public office and to provide programming, service, and other support to ensure their success.