Utah’s Rising LGBTQ Leadership

In 2017, the United States celebrated many historic wins for the LGBTQ community across all levels of government. Some of these wins included: Virginia’s first openly trans person elected to a state legislature, Danica Roem and Jenny Durkan, the first Lesbian Mayor of Seattle, Washington. In the state of Utah, four LGBTQ individuals were elected to local office across the state.

Out of the seven LGBTQ candidates, four of them won their elections throughout three cities in the state. In Salt Lake City, Amy Fowler and Chris Wharton won their seats for city councilmember, and in the City of Midvale, Dustin Gettel was also elected as a city councilmember. The fourth individual from the City of Ogden, Marcia White, was the only one who was re-elected. In a low-equality state, four wins for the LGBTQ community speaks volumes.

“I would say for most people, the fact that I was a dog owner was more of a factor than me being gay,” Wharton said. “A lot of people in District 3 have pets and the city deals with parks and trails. They wanted to know they were voting for someone who understands their concerns.”

With 2018 expected to be a big year for midterm elections, it’s programs such as the Victory Empowerment Fellowship, that will cultivate our leadership pipeline and train future out LGBTQ elected officials. The LGBTQ Victory Institute is committed to ensuring there is LGBTQ representation across all levels of government. To find out more about our leadership suite of programs, please visit our website.