More than half of the record number of openly LGBTQ candidates won their races this year, according to an analysis published Monday.
Victory Fund, a political action committee that works to elect LGBTQ candidates to public office, found that 244 of the 432 LGBTQ candidates, or 56.5 percent, won their elections this year. An unprecedented number of gay, lesbian, transgender and queer candidates ran up and down the ballot this year, leading some to label the election cycle a "rainbow wave."
Forty-six percent of LGBTQ candidates ran for state legislature seats, while 33 percent sought office at the local level. LGBTQ candidates won 56 percent of the 110 state legislature elections they ran in, with a similar percentage emerging victorious in 80 local races.
“Never in our nation’s history have so many openly LGBTQ people decided to run for office and be the change they demand to see in the world — and we are determined to ensure this energy does not fade,” Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of Victory Fund, said in a statement Monday. “We were able to ensure many of these leaders crossed the finish line on Election Day, and importantly, LGBTQ incumbents were overwhelmingly reelected by voters in states both red and blue.”
Nine of the 27 transgender candidates won their races — both record highs.
LGBTQ men ran in higher numbers than LGBTQ women, but women won at a higher rate, according to Victory Fund. Sixty-three percent of LGBTQ women won their races, compared with 57 percent of men.
While the bulk of LGBTQ candidates appeared down-ballot, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's (D) victory in Arizona's Senate race is set to make her the first openly bisexual person elected to the upper chamber. Ten LGBTQ candidates won their federal races while 19 lost, a 36 percent success rate.
Rep. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Colorado trucker's case provides pathways to revive pardon power Biden addresses Coloradans after wildfires: 'Incredible courage and resolve' MORE (D-Colo.), who on Election Day became the first openly gay man to win a gubernatorial race, was one of two LGBTQ candidates who ran and won a governorship.
Eighty-one percent of LGBTQ candidates ran as Democrats and 61 percent won, while 5.3 percent of LGBTQ candidates ran as Republicans, with 17 percent claiming victory.
Victory Fund did not record similar data in 2014 or 2016.
“While the Rainbow Wave of LGBTQ candidates who ran this year was the most diverse ever, there is still a long way to go before equitable representation for our entire community is achieved," Parker said. "LGBTQ political power is growing and we are ready to flex our muscles in local government, state Houses and the U.S. Congress."