Washington, DC — Six openly trans candidates won their races Tuesday night — including four incumbents — increasing to 23 the total number of out trans elected officials nationwide. Virginia Delegate Danica Roem — the first out trans person to win and serve in a state legislature — defeated an anti-LGBTQ opponent whose allies launched an anti-trans attack ad in the final weeks of the campaign. The victories for Roem and others are significant given anti-trans political groups are attempting to make trans rights a wedge issue to mobilize voters in 2020, and because a historic number of trans people are expected to run for office next year.
Holly Ryan won her Newton ( MA ) City Council race and Donna Price won a seat on the Albemarle County ( VA ) Board of Supervisors — both the first openly trans people to serve on those bodies. Hiawatha ( IA ) City Councilmember Aime Wichtendahl — the first openly trans elected official in Iowa — won reelection, as did Melrose ( MA ) School Committee member Lizbeth Deselm and Somersworth School Board Member Gerri Cannon ( who is also a sitting New Hampshire state Representative ).
"While bigoted political operatives are planning to use trans people as a wedge issue for 2020, voters across the country are rejecting the scare tactics and electing trans people to represent them in office," said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. "Nothing disrupts their hateful narrative more than out trans elected officials working hard on behalf of their constituents. The success of trans candidates this Election Night — in states red and blue — is a warning to those using cynical campaign tactics to divide communities for their own political gain.
"Trans candidates are resonating with voters because of their authenticity and their focus on the core concerns of constituents. That will continue in 2020, when an unprecedented number of trans candidates are expected to run for and win elected office."
There are 21 openly trans elected officials currently serving in elected office.
Live Election Night Results: Victory Fund is live tracking the election results for its 111 openly LGBTQ endorsed candidates. The latest updates can be found at victoryfund.org/results2019.
—From a press release
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.