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 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.



As expected, Republican nominee Bill Lee handily won the Governor’s race last night. Some outlets called the race as early as 7:10 p.m. CST. Lee beat Democratic nominee and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean with 59% of the vote. As often touted in his campaign ads, Lee has never held elected office before and relied on appealing to voters as a conservative businessman and a man of faith. Lee is the first Republican governor to take over from a member of his own party in TN since Dewitt Senter in 1869.


U.S. Senate

Upon Senator Bob Corker announcing his retirement and former Governor Phil Bredesen announcing his bid for U.S. Senate, many Democrats hoped this would be a chance for a Democrat to win statewide office for the first time since 2006 (the last time a Democrat won statewide office happened to be Phil Bredesen himself). However, Republican Congressman Marsha Blackburn defeated Phil Bredesen last night with 54% of the vote and becomes the third woman in Tennessee to be elected to statewide office (the first to the office of US Senate or Governor). Blackburn has represented the 7th Congressional district since 2003.


U.S. Congressional Races

Despite having 3 open Congressional seats, we saw no surprises last night for U.S. House. Tennessee remains a 7-2 Republican congressional delegation with the only Democrats representing Nashville and Memphis.District 1

Phil Roe (R - Incumbent) - 77%

Marty Olsen (D) - 21%District 2

Tim Burchett (R) - 65% 

Renee Hoyos (D) - 33%District 3

Chuck Fleischmann (R - Incumbent) - 63%

Danielle Mitchell (D)  -34%

District 4

Scott DesJarlais (R - Incumbent) - 63%

Mariah Phillips (D) - 33%

District 5

Jim Cooper (D - Incumbent) - 67%

Jody Ball (R) - 32%

District 6

John Rose (R) - 69%

Dawn Barlow (D) 28%

District 7

Mark Green (R) - 66%

Justin Kanew (D) - 32%

District 8

David Kustoff (R - Incumbent) - 67% 

Erika Pearson (D) - 30%

District 9

Steve Cohen (D -Incumbent) 79%

Charlotte Bergmann (R) - 19%


State Senate

The State Senate remains under a Republican supermajority control with the current makeup after election night being 28-5. Two seats are expected to be vacated - Senate District 32 held by Republican Majority Leader Mark Norris who was appointed to a federal judgeship last month and Senate District 22 held by Republican Mark Green who won his bid for the 7th Congressional district last night. Despite the same makeup we will see several new faces in the Senate, especially in the Democratic Caucus with the elections of Brenda Gilmore (Nashville), Raumesh Akbari (Memphis), and Katrina Robinson (Memphis). The other new member will be Republican Dawn White (Murfreesboro) who is replacing Bill Ketron after he retired to run for Rutherford County Mayor.


State House

In total we will have 28 new members (almost ⅓) in the House next year despite only 1 incumbent losing his race in the general elections last night. This is due to an unprecedented number of retirements, appointments, and members moving on to run for other state or local offices. The Democrats had a net pickup of 1 seat bringing the total number in their caucus to 26 against 73 Republicans. Republicans still hold supermajorities in the State Senate and House. Republican Eddie Smith of Knoxville was the only incumbent to lose to race in his third faceoff against Democrat Gloria Johnson. Johnson lost this seat to Smith in 2014 and has been working to gain it back since. House District 56 held by retiring Speaker of the House Beth Harwell flipped from red to blue last night with Bob Freeman defeating Brent Moody. House District 82 held by retiring Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh flipped from blue to red with Chris Hurt beating Andrea Bond-Johnson.Below are the FINAL UNOFFICIAL results of all the state races from the Secretary of State’s office. Several races were uncontested that we will list first then showing the results of the contested races.


Uncontested Races

State Senate 

SD 1 - Steve Southerland (R - Incumbent), SD 2 - Art Swann (R - Incumbent), SD 3 - Rusty Crowe (R - Incumbent), SD 21 - Jeff Yarbro (D - Incumbent), SD 33 - Katrina Robinson (D)State House 

HD 1 - John Crawford (R - Incumbent), HD 3 - Timothy Hill (R - Incumbent), HD 4 - John Holsclaw (R - Incumbent), HD 15 - Rick Staples (D - Incumbent), HD 22 - Dan Howell (R - Incumbent), HD 40 - Terri Lynn Weaver (R - Incumbent), HD 52 - Mike Stewart (D - Incumbent), HD 55 - John Ray Clemmons (D - Incumbent), HD 58 - Harold Love, Jr. (D - Incumbent), HD 60 - Darren Jernigan (D - Incumbent), HD 77 - Bill Sanderson (R - Incumbent), HD 80 - Johnny Shaw (D - Incumbent), HD 81 - Debra Moody (R - Incumbent), HD 84 - Joe Towns, Jr. (D - Incumbent), HD 85 - Jesse Chism (D), HD 86 - Barbara Cooper (D - Incumbent), HD 87 - Karen Camper (D -Incumbent), HD 88 - Larry Miller (D - Incumbent), HD 90 - John Deberry (D - Incumbent), HD 91 - London Lamar (D), HD 93 - G.A. Hardaway (D - Incumbent), HD 98 - Antonio Parkinson (D - Incumbent)


General Election Results


TN Senate District 5

Randy McNally (R - Incumbent) - 71.84%

Stuart Starr (D) - 28.16%TN Senate District 7

Richard Briggs (R - Incumbent) - 55.57%

Jamie Ballinger (D) - 44.43%TN Senate District 9

Mike Bell (R - Incumbent) - 77.73%

Carl Lansden (D) - 22.27%TN Senate District 11

Bo Watson (R - Incumbent) - 65.16%

Randall Price (D) - 34.84%

TN Senate District 13 (Vacated by Bill Ketron)

Dawn White (R) - 57.09%

Kelly Northcutt (D) - 40.48%

TN Senate District 15

Paul Bailey (R - Incumbent) - 73.64%

Angela Hedgecough (D) - 26.36%

TN Senate District 17

Mark Pody (R - Incumbent) - 70.39%

Mary Alice Carfi (D) - 29.61%

TN Senate District 19 (Vacated by Thelma  Harper)

Brenda Gilmore (D) - 85.82%

Christina Callaway (I) - 10.85%

TN Senate District 23

Jack Johnson (R - Incumbent) 66.90%

Kristen Grimm (D) 33%

TN Senate District 25

Kerry Roberts (R -Incumbent) 71%

Wade Munday (D) 28.49%

TN Senate District 27

Ed Jackson (R - Incumbent) 65.15%

Savannah Williamson (D) 34.85%

TN Senate District 29 (Vacated by Lee Harris)

Raumesh Akbari (D) 83.39%

Tom Stephens (R) 16.61%

TN Senate District 31

Brian Kelsey (R - Incumbent) 50.96%

Gabby Salinas (D) 49.04%


TN House District 2

Bud Hulsey (R Incumbent) : 75.90%

Arvil Love Jr. (D) : 21.61%

Robert M. Ellis (I) : 2.49%

TN House District 5

David Hawk (R Incumbent) : 80.62%

Park Overall (D) : 19.38%

TN House District 6

Micah Van Huss (R Incumbent) : 68.10%

Murphey Johnson (Independent) : 31.90%

TN House District 7

Matthew Hill (R Incumbent) : 66.46%

Nathan Farnor (Democrat) : 33.54%

TN House District 8

Jerome Moon (R Incumbent) : 72.18%

Jay Clark (D) : 27.82%

TN House District 9

Gary Hicks (R Incumbent) : 82.27%

Derek Winkle (D) : 17.73%

TN House District 10  (Vacated by Tilman Goins)

Rick Eldridge (R) : 75.44%

Barbara Simmons (D) : 24.56%

TN House District 11

Jeremy Faison (R Incumbent) : 80.73%

Vincyl Fitzgerald II (D) : 14.45%

TN House District 12

Dale Carr (R Incumbent) : 79.88%

Robert Williams (D) : 20.12%

TN House District 13

Gloria Johnson (D) : 54.92%

Eddie Smith (R Incumbent) : 43.21%

TN House District 14

Jason Zachary (R Incumbent) : 65.57%

Justin Davis (D) : 34.43%

TN House District 16

Bill Dunn (R Incumbent) : 69.72%

Kate Trudell (D) : 30.28%

TN House District 17

Andrew Farmer (R Incumbent) : 79.28%

Delynn McCash (D) : 20.72%

TN House District 18

Martin Daniel (R Incumbent) : 51.48%

Greg Mackay (D) : 48.52%

TN House District 19  (Vacated by Harry Brooks)

Dave Wright  (R) : 72.61%

Edward Nelson (D) : 24.15%

TN House District 20

Robert Ramsey (R Incumbent) : 70.51%

Susan Sneed (D) : 29.49%

TN House District 21 (Vacated by Jimmy Matlock)

Lowell Russell (R) : 76.87%

Laura Miller (D) : 23.13%

TN House District 23 (Vacated by John Forgety)

Mark Cochran (R) : 80.70%

Brad Hartley (D) : 19.30%

TN House District 24 (Vacated by Kevin Brooks)

Mark Hall (R) : 75.11%

Mallory Pickert (D) : 24.89%

TN House District 25

Cameron Sexton (R Incumbent) : 77.93%

Anne Quillen (D) : 22.07%

TN House District 26 (Vacated by Gerald McCormick)

Robin Smith (R) : 64.10%

Jean-Marie Lawrence (D) : 35.90%

TN House District 27

Patsy Hazlewood (R Incumbent) : 65.02%

Brent Morris (D) : 34.98%

TN House District 28 (Vacated by Joanne Favors)

Yusuf Hakeem (D) : 80.21%

Lemon Williams Jr. (R) : 19.79%

TN House District 29

Mike Carter (R Incumbent) : 68.35%

Tammy Magouirk (D) : 31.65%

TN House District 30 (Vacated by Mark Gravitt)

Esther Helton (R) : 57.13%

Joda Thongnopnua (D) : 40.58%

TN House District 31

Ron Travis (R Incumbent) : 78.82%

Dean Sparks (D) : 21.18%

TN House District 32

Kent Calfee (R Incumbent) : 75.39%

Mary Ellen Blencoe (D) : 24.61%

TN House District 33

John Ragan (R Incumbent) : 61.30%

Richard Dawson (D) : 38.70%

TN House District 34

Tim Rudd (R Incumbent) : 60.49%

Jennifer Vannoy (D) : 39.51%

TN House District 36

Dennis Powers (R Incumbent) : 77.62%

Cassandra Mitchell (D) : 22.38%

TN House District 37 (vacated by Dawn White)

Charlie Baum (R) : 59.38%

Deanna Debow Osborne (D) : 40.62%

TN House District 38

Kelly Keisling (R Incumbent) : 80.62%

Carol Veneá Abney (D) : 19.38%

TN House District 39 Republican Primary (vacated by David Alexander)

Iris Rudder (R) : 69.44%

Sharon Adams (D) : 30.56%

TN House District 41

John Windle (D Incumbent) : 55.17%

Ed Butler (R) : 44.83%

TN House District 42

Ryan Williams (R Incumbent) : 69.13%

Terry Scott (D) : 30.87%

TN House District 43

Paul Sherrell (R Incumbent) : 71.60%

Les Trotman (D) : 28.40%

TN House District 44

William Lamberth (R Incumbent) : 70.48%

Rachel Mackey (D) : 29.52%

TN House District 45 (vacated by Courtney Rogers)

Johnny Garrett (R) : 69.86%

Hana Ali (D) : 30.14%

TN House District 46 Republican Primary

Clark Boyd (R Incumbent) : 72.92%

Mark Cagle (D) : 27.08%

TN House District 47 (vacated by Judd Matheny)

Rush Bricken (R) : 66.18%

Mike Winton (D) : 33.82%

TN House District 48

Bryan Terry (R Incumbent) : 60.91%

Matt Ferry (D) : 39.09%

TN House District 49 Republican Primary

Mike Sparks (R Incumbent) : 52.52%

Chris Mayor (D) : 47.48%

TN House District 50

Bo Mitchell (D Incumbent) : 56.65%

Judd Cowan (R) : 43.35%

TN House District 51

Bill Beck (D Incumbent) : 82.03%

Randell Stroud (I) : 17.97%

TN House District 53

Jason Powell (D Incumbent) : 63.88%

Amberlee' Brooks (R) : 33.71%

TN House District 54 (vacated by Brenda Gilmore)

Vincent Dixie (D) : 84.16%

John Smith (I) : 15.84%

TN House District 56 (vacated by Beth Harwell)

Bob Freeman (D) : 51.42%

Brent Moody (R) : 48.58%

TN House District 57

Susan Lynn (R Incumbent) : 68.30%

Jordan Cole (D) : 31.70%

TN House District 59 (vacated by Sherry Jones)

Jason Potts (D) : 78.60%

David Birdsong (R) : 21.40%

TN House District 61 (vacated by Charles Sargent)

Brandon Ogles (R) : 65.46%

Rebecca Purington (D) : 34.54%

TN House District 62

Pat Marsh (R Incumbent) : 76.65%

Marty Davis (D) : 23.35%

TN House District 63

Glen Casada (R Incumbent) : 67.69%

Bill Peach (D) : 32.31%

TN House District 64 (vacated by Sheila Butt)

Scott Cepicky (R) : 62.98%

A.J. Holmes (D) : 35.08%

TN House District 65

Sam Whitson (R Incumbent) : 68.33%

Toby Shaffer (D) : 31.67%

TN House District 66

Sabi Kumar (R Incumbent) : 72.03%

Larry Proffitt (D) : 24.63%

TN House District 67 (vacated by Joe Pitts)

Tommy Vallejos (R) 44.88%

Jason Hodges (D)  52.48%

TN House District 68

Curtis Johnson (R Incumbent) : 66.90%

Dennis Potvin (D) :  33.10%

TN House District 69

Michael Curcio (R Incumbent) : 65.86%

Eddie Johnson (D) :  34.14%

TN House District 70

Clay Doggett (R) : 76.23%

Jessica Yokley (D) : 21.45%

TN House District 71

David Byrd (R Incumbent) : 77.76%

Frankie Floied (D) :  22.24%

TN House District 72 (vacated by Steve McDaniel)

Kirk Haston (R) : 81.46%

James T. Haynes (D) : 18.54%

TN House District 73 (vacated by Jimmy Eldridge)

Chris Todd (R) : 68.88%

James Baxter (D) : 31.12%

TN House District 74

Jay Reedy  (R Incumbent) : 61.37%

Billy Borchert (D) : 38.63%

TN House District 75

Bruce Griffey (R) : 69.72%

Richard Carl (D) : 24.60%

TN House District 76

Andy Holt (R Incumbent) : 72.13%

Deane Arganbright (D) : 27.87%

TN House District 82 (vacated by Craig Fitzhugh)

Chris Hurt (R) : 57.26%

Andrea Bond-Johnson (D) : 42.74%

TN House District 83

Mark White (R Incumbent) : 56.87%

Danielle Schonbaum (D) : 43.13%

TN House District 89 (Vacated by Roger Kane)

Justin Lafferty (R) : 63.97%

Coleen Martinez (D) : 36.03%

TN House District 92

Rick Tillis (R Incumbent) : 75.13%

C.S. Coffey (D) : 24.87%

TN House District 94

Ron M. Gant (R Incumbent) : 73.95%

Terry Saine (D) : 26.05%

TN House District 95

Kevin Vaughan (R Incumbent) : 71.51%

Sanjeev Memula (D) : 28.49%

TN House District 96

Dwayne Thompson (D Incumbent) : 57.34%

Scott McCormick (R) : 42.66%

TN House District 97

Jim Coley (R Incumbent) : 54.97%

Allan Creasy (D) : 45.03%

TN House District 99 (vacated by Ron Lollar)

Tom Leatherwood (R) : 69.92%

David Cambron (D) : 30.08%



WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less