Jul 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

850 LGBTQ people are running for office in 2020

Mondaire Jones, left, winner of the Democratic primary for the 17th Congressional District.
Mondaire Jones, left, winner of the Democratic primary for the 17th Congressional District, addresses a Black Lives Matter protest in White Plains, New York. Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

A sign of progress: There are 843 openly LGBTQ elected officials across all levels of government in the U.S., up from 417 in June 2016.

What to watch: 850 LGBTQ people are running for office in 2020, including several candidates with strong chances of entering Congress, the AP reports, citing the LGBTQ Victory Institute’s Out For America.

Why it matters: 2020 has been a case study of why it's important to have a diverse set of voices in the room in all aspects of life, and LGBTQ Americans are underrepresented across all levels of government.

  • U.S. Senate: 2 of 100
  • U.S. House of Representatives: 7 of 435
  • Governors: 2 of 50
  • State legislators: 160 of 7,383

The big picture: As of 2018, there were 438 LGBTQ elected officials affiliated with the Democratic Party and only 16 Republicans, the AP notes.

  • The number of LGBTQ Black people and Hispanic people in office is up from 92 to 184 over the past three years.
  • The number of transgender elected officials is up to 26 from 6 over the same stretch.

Between the lines: Some of the surge in candidates seeking and winning office may be in response to Trump administration efforts to curtail or roll back the rights of LGBTQ people, especially transgender Americans.

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