Caitlin Doherty ’26
The 2022 Midterm Election cycle marks an unprecedented level of representation of the LGBTQ+ community among candidates. According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, over one thousand LGBTQ people ran for office this year, and over 67o won their primaries and will be on the ballot for state and federal elections. These are both historically high numbers; the total number of LGBTQ people running increased by 5.9% since the 2020 election, and 18.1% more will appear on the ballot than in the 2020 presidential election. For the first time ever, LGBTQ+ candidates ran in all fifty states.
The number of people of color who identify as members of the LGBTQ community running for office also increased this year, making up 38.2% of all LGBTQ+ candidates, coming in over the 30.9% reported in 2020 according to the Victory Fund. This growth marks deeper equity and inclusion in this community where there have often been divides between racial groups. Election Day on November 8th could mark further growth for representation of the LGBTQ community and people of color in government. Two candidates on the ballot, Kimberly Walker in Florida and Odessa Kelly of Tennessee, if elected, would be the first openly gay Black women to be elected to Congress.
Candidates across the country, if elected, will be the first LGBTQ+ elected officials in many positions of elected offices for their respective states. According to an article by ABC news, Eric Sorensen of Illinois and Jamie McLeodSkinner of Oregon, both running for the House of Representatives, would be the first LGBTQ+ people representing their states in Congress. Maura Healey of Massachusetts and Tina Kotek of Oregon will be the first Lesbian governors in United States history if elected. Celia Israel, running for mayor of Austin, Texas, may be the first Latina mayor of a major city in the United States and the first LGBTQ+ mayor of the city. Within Connecticut, two candidates will set landmarks both federally and in the state. If elected, Marcus Brown will be the first Black openly LGBTQ man in Connecticut’s House of Representatives. Erick Russel is running for Connecticut State Treasurer, and he will be the first Black LGBTQ person in the United States to be a statewide elected official. Because of the perspective each of these candidates offers as members of the LGBTQ+ community, this representation will have a deep impact on public policy and daily lives in the United States.
As of June 2022, the LGBTQ+ community makes up only 0.2% of all elected officials in the United States, compared to making up approximately 7% of the United States population according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund. While there is a far gap to close to achieve equal representation, the number of LGBTQ+ people running in elections has continued to grow steadily. The 2022 Election Year has already made history in several ways, including the highest number of LGBTQ+ candidates to ever run, and it has the potential to make even more history with LGBTQ candidates across the country prepared to set new precedents if they win their elections.
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