According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, at least 1,006 LGBTQ Americans ran for public office this election cycle. More than 570 of those candidates will appear on the ballot on Election Day this Tuesday, November 3. That's a record high for the U.S.—and yet another sign that the "Rainbow Wave" sweeping America isn't slowing its roll any time soon.
Among LGBTQ candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund, 60 are people of color, and 15 are running for spots in the U.S. Congress. While we'll obviously be monitoring Joe Biden and President Donald Trump's face-off for the White House, NewNowNext also plans to keep an eye on the many out candidates running for other elected positions nationwide. Below, find 12 races involving LGBTQ candidates we'll be watching this week.
Sarah McBride in Delaware
After her primary win earlier this year, McBride, a veteran LGBTQ activist and Delaware native, is almost guaranteed to become the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history.
State Rep. Brianna Titone in Colorado
State Rep. Titone already broke ground when she became Colorado's first openly trans lawmaker in 2018. She's up for reelection in her district this year—and sadly, she was targeted with a slew of transphobic campaign ads that dead-named and misgendered her.
Jon Hoadley in Michigan
Hoadley, who is openly gay, is running for a congressional seat (MI-6) in one of the country's most competitive races. A win for him would turn the seat blue. Unfortunately, his competitors are well aware of the seat's importance: Hoadley was also targeted with anti-LGBTQ ads.
Gina Ortiz Jones in Texas
Running in what the Victory Fund has dubbed a "red to blue district," Jones (TX-23), a Democrat, could become the first ever LGBTQ candidate to represent her state in Congress. (She previously ran for Congress in 2018 but was narrowly defeated by Republican incumbent Will Hurd.) If elected, Jones would also become the first LGBTQ Filipina in Congress.
Stephanie Byers in Kansas
Byers, a GLSEN Award-winning educator, could become the first out trans state legislator in Kansas' history. A win would also make her the first transgender person of color to serve on a state legislature in the country.
Mondaire Jones in New York
After his primary win, Jones (NY-17) is pretty much guaranteed to secure a congressional seat, a win that would make him one of America's first Black LGBTQ members of Congress.
Ritchie Torres in New York
Back in June, Torres (NY-15) made headlines when he beat out his opponent, an infamously anti-LGBTQ Democrat, in his district's congressional primary. Along with Jones, the Bronx native and New York City council member is well positioned to become one of the first Black LGBTQ people elected to Congress.
Brandon Thomas in Tennessee
Thomas, a Black gay Democrat, is running in one of just four states in the U.S. that have yet to elect an openly LGBTQ state legislator. If elected, he'd make political history in Tennessee.
Pat Hackett in Indiana
A win for Hackett (ID-2) would make her Indiana's first out LGBTQ representative in Congress.
Madeline Eden in Texas
Eden, a Democrat, is one of the many LGBTQ Dems whose win would help turn Texas' state House blue. She'd also become the first openly trans state legislator in Texas history.
Jessica Katzenmeyer in Wisconsin
If elected, Katzenmeyer, a Wisconsin Democrat, would become her state's first out trans state lawmaker.
Roger Montoya in New Mexico
The 2019 CNN Hero is running for a seat on New Mexico's House of Representatives–and he won't let Republicans' attempts to shame him for starring in a gay adult film years ago get him down.