Nationally, LGBTQ Candidates Perform Well; Tennessee Goes Deep Red
In the wake of Tennessee's disappointing results, Jim Schmidt of Schmidt Government Solutions offered the following rundown of national LGBTQ gains, as well as an overview of the major races in Tennessee:
This week's elections featured an impressive number of LGBTQ candidates across the country at all levels of government. The Victory Fund, the nation's largest organization focused on electing LGBTQ candidates, endorsed a record number of candidates this year and many of those candidates were key races. Below are some of the highlight candidates who made won their races Tuesday.
- S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) won her tough re-election fight against multi-millions of dollars of negative ads. She will retain LGBTQ representation in the U.S. Senate;
- Jared Polis (D-Colorado) won his race to become Governor of Colorado and will serve as the first openly gay man elected Governor;
- John Arrowood retained his seat on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which is a statewide judgeship. Arrowood was appointed to the position by Governor Roy Cooper but had to win re-election. He becomes the first statewide elected LGBTQ candidate in the South;
- Governor Kate Brown (D-Oregon) won her re-election. She was the first bisexual governor elected;
- In Congressional races, LGBT candidates played a role in helping Democrats take back the House. Big wins in red-to-blue races included: Sharice Davids (KS), Katie Hill (CA), Chris Pappas (NH), Angie Craig (MN) and Gina Ortiz-Jones (TX- pending a recount). They join incumbent Congressmen Mark Takano (CA), David Cicilline (RI), Mark Pocan (WI), and Sean Patrick Maloney (NY).
- Alabama elected their first gay man to the State House when Neil Rafferty (D-Birmingham) won his general election handily;
- Georgia expanded their number of state LGBTQ legislators to four with the re-election of Sam Park, Park Cannon, and Renitta Shannon and the addition of Matthew Wilson;
- Kansas elected Sharice Davids as the first LGBTQ Native-American Congresswoman along with two LGBTQ state House members;
- Nebraska elected its first LGBT state legislator;
- North Carolina increased its number of LGBTQ state House members to four;
- Michigan elected Dana Nessel as their state's Attorney General;
- Ricardo Lara is poised to become California's Insurance Commissioner, a statewide position;
- Krysten Sinema is neck and neck in her race for Arizona's U.S. Senate seat and is awaiting final results.
For all results of all 225 LGBTQ candidates who were on the ballot, you can find results at www.victoryfund.org. For a fairly comprehensive list of Tennessee election results, see the following compiled by Schmidt Government Solutions and distributed by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce to its members this afternoon.