Victory Fund Endorses 23 LGBTQ Candidates for 2018, Including Its First State Legislative Endorsements This Cycle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
CONTACT: Elliot Imse, Director of Communications,, 646.957.4740

Victory Fund Endorses 23 LGBTQ Candidates for 2018, Including Its First State Legislative Endorsements This Cycle

Rep. Nickie Antonio and Tippi McCullough Become Spotlight Candidates; Mayor Jim Gray Awarded Game Changer Status

Washington, DC –  Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 23 candidates from across the nation who can help transform the political landscape in 2018. Ohio State Representative and Minority Whip Nickie Antonio and schoolteacher Tippi McCullough were awarded Spotlight Candidate status – a designation given to state or local candidates who can make history with election night wins. Antonio would become the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in the Ohio State Senate if elected. McCullough would become one of just two openly LGBTQ elected officials in all of Arkansas and the o snly LGBTQ state legislator.                                                                                                                                                  

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray of Kentucky, running for Congress, was awarded Game Changer status – a new designation given to high-profile federal or statewide races for 2018. With a win on election day he would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Kentucky and would be key to growing the LGBT Equality Caucus on Capitol Hill.

Nineteen additional candidates in state and local races received endorsements – having demonstrated to Victory Fund both their viability and their commitment to pushing for LGBTQ equality once in office.

“The 2018 election cycle is shaping up to be a historic one for our community – with more openly LGBTQ people running for office in more places,” said Victory Fund President & CEO Annise Parker. “These 23 candidates are values-driven leaders who are committed to advancing equality, but they are equally determined to fight for the bread and butter issues that will improve the lives of constituents in their communities. We have the opportunity to dramatically increase LGBTQ representation in local governments, state legislatures and the U.S. Congress, so Victory Fund is all-in to ensure our endorsed candidates win on election day.”

The complete list of today’s endorsements is below. 

Spotlight Endorsements

Nickie Antonio, Ohio State Senate, District 2
Tippi McCullough, Arkansas House of Representatives, District 33
Game Changer Endorsement
Jim Gray, U.S. House of Representatives, KY-06

Endorsed Candidates

JD Ford, Indiana State Senate, District 29
Michael Forti Circuit Court of Cook County, Subcircuit 8
Cecilia Horan, Circuit Court of Cook County, At-Large
Julie Johnson, Texas House of Representatives, District 115
Steven Kirkland, Texas Supreme Court Judge, Position 2
Ian Mackey, Missouri House of Representatives, District 87
Josh Mers, Kentucky House of Representatives, District 88
Beau Miller, Harris County Judicial Civil District Court Judge, District 190
Jeremy Moss, Michigan State Senate, District 11
Jerry Simoneaux, Harris County Probate Court Judge, Position 1
Fran Watson, Texas State Senate, District 17 

Endorsed Incumbent Candidates

Park Cannon, Georgia House of Representatives, District 58
Ryan Fecteau, Maine House of Representatives, District 11
Robert Garcia, Long Beach (CA) Mayor
Mary Gonzalez, Texas House of Representatives, District 75
Jon Hoadley, Michigan House of Representatives, District 60
Nicole Macri, Washington House of Representatives, District 43
John McCrostie, Idaho House of Representatives, District 16A
Sam Park, Georgia House of Representatives, District 101
Patricia Todd, Alabama House of Representatives, District 54

This is the third round of endorsements by Victory Fund for the 2018 election cycle, and the first slate of state legislative endorsements. All 45 openly LGBTQ endorsed candidates can be seen at

Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.


LGBTQ Victory Fund

LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.