Updated Nov 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Where LGBTQ candidates made history in the midterm elections

Photo of Becca Balint in conversation with three other people

Becca Balint (center), who is running to represent Vermont in the House, at a gathering on Oct. 7 in Burlington. Photo: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Several LGBTQ Americans made history Tuesday night with election wins across the United States.

Driving the news: Among them are Becca Balint (D), who will become the first out gay person and the first woman to represent Vermont in Congress, and New Hampshire's James Roesener (D), the first out transgender man to win a state legislature race.

  • California's Robert Garcia (D), who is gay and Peruvian American, will be the first out LGBTQ immigrant in Congress.
  • The U.S. will have an out lesbian governor for the first time in history after Oregon's Tina Kotek (D) and Massachusetts' Maura Healey (D) were both elected to office.
  • In Connecticut, Erick Russell (D) won the race to serve as treasurer, becoming the first-ever Black out LGBTQ candidate elected to statewide office in U.S. history.
  • Democrat Eric Sorensen's win makes him the first out gay Congress member from Illinois.

Why it matters: Their wins come amid an increase in anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country, particularly bills targeting transgender rights and gender-affirming health care.

Worth noting: A record 678 LGBTQ candidates were on the ballot this November, according to an October report released by the political action committee LGBTQ Victory Fund. That marks an 18.1% increase from the 2020 elections.

  • The 2022 midterms showed a significant growth in trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming candidates as well as LGBTQ candidates of color.

The big picture: There are currently two governors, two senators, nine members of Congress, 189 state legislators and 56 mayors who openly identify as LGBTQ, per LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include details of Erick Russell's win in Connecticut.

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