Some LGB candidates were already in office when Tuesday’s elections took place. It wasn’t, however, until Election Day that the transgender community started to catch up with the rest of them. These LGBTQ Election victories are historical for the transgender community and for the complete LGBTQ community as a whole. Even more instrumental was the win of the first openly transgender person of color elected to any office in the U.S.
Andrea Jenkins was elected to the Minneapolis City Council, making her the first trans woman of color elected to a major city’s governing body.
“What made the night truly exceptional, however, was the triumph of a number of openly transgender candidates for office,” said DNC CEO Jess O’Connell and DNC LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes via a joint statement. “In Virginia, first-time candidate Danica Roem dominated in a race against her proudly transphobic opponent, who even authored an anti-trans ‘bathroom bill’ in the Virginia House of Delegates. In Minneapolis, [Andrea] Jenkins became the first openly trans person to be elected to the city council of a major U.S. city.”
As reported by the Advocate, Virginia also elected another key member of the community besides Roem. Dawn Adams, the first lesbian member of the 68th District (Richmond included) House of Delegates. What is crucial about Adams’ win, a nurse practitioner and health care activist, is that she defeated incumbent Republican Manoli Loupassi in one of many Democratic pickups in the state.
“Tuesday night was a landmark moment in LGBTQ history. Democrats from our community, including Jenny Durkan, who made history as the first openly lesbian mayor of Seattle, claimed decisive wins all over the country,” read O’Connell and Fowlkes’ statement.
Phillipe Cunningham a transgender man, also won a seat as a Minneapolis City Council Ward 4 councilor.
“For far too long, transgender Americans have been shoved to the sidelines, in government and even in the LGBTQ rights movement,” stated O’Connell and Fowlkes. “That’s beginning to change, and Tuesday’s results were a giant step forward. But this is only the beginning. LGBTQ Democrats will be front and center in the elections going forward, especially in the most vital races of 2018. We look forward to a bright and inclusive future.”
Other LGBTQ candidates who won, according to the Victory Fund and the Advocate, are:
Ben Allatt, reelected to Harrisburg, Pa., City Council; Vernetta Alston, elected to Durham, N.C., City Council; Carol Becker, elected to Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation; Mike Bonin, reelected to the Los Angeles City Council; Guyleen Castriotta, elected to the Broomfield, Colo., City Council; Richard Conti, reelected to the Albany, N.Y., Common Council; Dean Dafis, elected to the Maplewood, N.J., Township Committee; Zachary DeWolf, elected to the Seattle School Board; Paul Durham, elected to the Tucson City Council; Tim Eustace and Reed Gusciora, both reelected to the New Jersey State Assembly; Michael Fenton, reelected to the Springfield, Mass., City Council; Michael Gongora, reelected a Miami Beach Commissioner; Jeff Harris, elected to the Westwood, Kan., City Council; Corey Johnson, reelected to the New York City Council; Nick Komives, elected to the Toledo, Ohio, City Council; Lydia Lavelle, elected mayor of Carrboro, N.C.; LaWana Mayfield, reelected to the Charlotte, N.C., City Council; Matthew Miller, elected to the Newton, Mass., School Committee; Alex Morse, elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass.; Nelson Roman, reelected to the Holyoke City Council; Denise Simmons, reelected to the Cambridge, Mass., City Council; Patrick Spadafore, elected to the Lansing, Mich., City Council; Lawrence Webb, reelected to the Falls Church, Va., School Board; Chris Wharton, elected to the Salt Lake City Council; Patrick Wojahn, reelected mayor of College Park, Md.; Karen Stegman, elected to the Chapel Hill, N.C., Town Council; Amy Zannelli, elected to the Lehigh County, Pa., Commission; and Ed Zipprich, reelected to the Red Bank, N.J., City Council.
[Excerpts include portions of a press release too].