Record number of LGBT candidates seeking office in 2018

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More than 400 LGBTQ candidates are running for public office in the United States in 2018, more than ever before in an election cycle, according to data from the Victory Institute.

The group, which identifies and trains prospective LGBTQ candidates, revealed that the candidates are also mostly Democrats.

{mosads}At present, 559 LGBTQ elected officials hold positions across the country, according to the Institute’s 2018 “Out for America” report. That number is a jump from the 448 LGBTQ elected officials that held positions in the previous year. 

However, the Institute said in the report that Americans need to elect 22,827 more LGBTQ people to public office to achieve “equitable representation” in the nearly 520,000 elected positions it estimates are in the U.S.

“LGBTQ elected officials in positions of power are fundamental to moving forward equality legislation and policies, but their unique experiences also bring an authenticity and values framework that makes them better public servants,” Annise Parker, the first openly LGBTQ mayor of Houston and president and CEO of the Victory Fund and Victory Institute, said in the report.

“At a time when many Americans are questioning both the motivation and seriousness of the nation’s politicians, LGBTQ elected officials bring a refreshing sense of openness, empathy and drive to get results,” Parker added.                                                          

The report arrives as more women and members of minority groups express interest in running for public office.

EMILY’s List, a group that works to elect women who support abortion rights, says that it has heard from more than 36,000 women who are interested in running this year.

President Trump vowed during his campaign to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” after an attack at a gay nightclub in June 2016 that killed 49 people.

But members of the LGBTQ community have expressed concerns over administration policies, including banning transgender people from serving in the military.

Updated at 4:36 p.m.

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