WASHINGTON, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 12 new openly LGBTQ candidates for the 2019 and 2020 election cycles. Montana state Senator Bryce Bennett, who is running for secretary of state, received a Game Changer endorsement. Sen. Bennett was the first openly gay man to serve in the state legislature, and if he wins in 2020, would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected statewide in Montana. He will likely face a virulently anti-LGBTQ general election opponent if he wins the primary.
Also among the endorsees is Evan Bergeron, running for a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. If elected, Bergeron would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the state’s legislature and the only openly LGBTQ elected official in the entire state. Louisiana is one of just four states that have zero openly LGBTQ elected officials currently serving.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, released the following statement about Bergeron’s race:
“There are only five states in the entire nation that have never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator – and Evan is determined to remove Louisiana from that list. Louisiana’s poor record on equality is symptomatic of an absence of LGBTQ representation in any elected office in the state. With Evan in Baton Rouge, he can assess and push forward legislation through an LGBTQ lens, ensuring our community and all communities are considered when important decisions are made.”
Currently, Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee are the only states to have never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator. Just four states – Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Dakota – have no out LGBTQ elected officials currently serving at any level of government. Louisiana is designated a “low-equality” state for LGBTQ people by the Movement Advancement Project.
Mayor Parker also released the following statement about state Sen. Bennett’s race:
“A win for Bryce would make him one of the few openly LGBTQ statewide elected officials in the entire nation – again redefining what is possible for an LGBTQ person in his state. Voters will likely choose between Bryce and anti-LGBTQ extremist Scott Sales, giving added weight to the outcome of this race and testing Montanans’ tolerance for hateful politicians. The secretary of state position has enormous influence over how Montanans access the ballot box, so it is critical voters elect an inclusive leader like Bryce in 2020.”
A complete list of candidate endorsements announced today is below:
Game Changer Endorsement
Bryce Bennett, Montana Secretary of State
Jeffrey Litke, Naugatuck (CT) Board of Education, At-Large
Rafer Johnson, Fulton County (GA) Commission, District 6
Joseph Shepard, Wichita (KS) Unified School District 259 Board of Education, At-Large
Evan Bergeron, Louisiana House of Representatives, District 98
Kimberly Sanberg, Golden Valley (MN) City Council, At-Large
Eddie Sundquist, Mayor of Jamestown (NY)
Egan Orion, Seattle City Council, District 3
Francena Amparo, Dutchess County (NY) Legislator, District 14
Ryan Egan, Randolph (MA) Town Council, At-Large
Lydia Lavelle, Mayor of Carrboro (NC)
Marsha Silverman, Glen Cove (NY) City Council, At-Large
This is Victory Fund’s ninth round of endorsements for the 2019 election cycle. The organization has now endorsed 127 openly LGBTQ candidates across the country.
More information about the candidates is available at victoryfund.org/ourcandidates. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.