Victory Fund: More than half of LGBTQ candidates won races in 2018

WASHINGTON — A LGBTQ Victory Fund report last week stated that from 432 out LGBTQ candidates, 244 won their races. The Victory Fund, a group dedicated to getting LGBTQ people into elected office, was active in the midterm elections and 162 of the candidates they endorsed won office. The high points from the data:

5 percent of known out LGBTQ candidates won their races on Election Day, and 72.0 percent of Victory Fund endorsed candidates were successful;
136 of the 244 victorious candidates are non-incumbents and 79.3 percent of incumbent candidates won their races;
LGBTQ men ran in higher numbers than LGBTQ women, yet women candidates won at a higher rate (63.4 percent to 56.7 percent);
0 percent of LGBTQ candidates who ran were people of color and 56.5 percent won their races; and
1 percent of LGBTQ candidates ran as Democrats and 61.0 percent won, whereas 5.3 percent of LGBTQ candidates ran as Republicans and just 17.4 percent won. In Illinois, six of the seven candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund won their elections, and even the one candidate who didn’t, Maggie Trevor, lost by less than a point. LGBTQ candidates overall did very well in Illinois.

LGBTQ community organizations to host forum with Chicago mayoral candidates in January

CHICAGO — With the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans under attack by the Trump Administration and the urgent need to continue our pro-equality progress in the City of Chicago, LGBTQ Chicagoans need to know where the candidates for mayor stand on the many issues of interest and importance to our lives. LGBTQ community organizations Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action (ALMA), the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, the Equality Illinois Institute, Pride Action Tank, and the Windy City Times are hosting the LGBTQ Forum with the Mayoral Candidates at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. A broader organizational host committee is in formation. “Black women, especially Black LGBTQ+ women, are the backbone of our communities in Chicago,” said Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director of Affinity Community Services. “Any mayoral candidate will need to be able to effectively represent the needs of Black LGBTQ+ individuals and our families.

LGBTQ candidates ride blue wave into Illinois offices

CHICAGO — While the blue wave in much of the country seemed like a small ripple, it was a high tide in Illinois races, with Democrats taking all statewide offices. LGBTQ candidates were among those winning office on Tuesday. Most of the candidates were in the Chicago metropolitan areas, but there were LGBTQ candidates and winners in other parts of the state. All of them ran as Democrats. The Peoria Journal-Star reported that Rob Reneau one a seat on the Peoria County Board, adding to the Democrat majority in the Central Illinois county.

LGBTQ Victory Fund condemns GOP ad in Cook County Commissioner race

WASHINGTON– The LGBTQ Victory Fund condemned a mailer sent by Illinois Republican Party chairman Tim Schneider attacking his openly LGBTQ opponent in the race for Cook County Commissioner on Friday. In the mailer sent by Schneider, an altered photo of Victory Fund endorsed candidate Kevin Morrison shows him with a limp wrist and on tiptoes, which the Victory Fund called “a clear anti-gay dog whistle attacking the historic LGBTQ candidate.” And the ad reached homes on National Coming Out Day. Morrison would become the first openly LGBTQ person to serve on the Cook County Commission if he beats Schneider in November. “Let me be clear: Tim Schneider and his team knew exactly what they were doing when they altered a photo of Kevin Morrison to show him with a limp wrist and on his tiptoes,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Schneider is taking a page from the playbook of his pal in the White House – engaging in the divisive and destructive politics that Donald Trump thrives on.

Gay man elected to Iowa City council in special election

IOWA CITY — Bruce Teague became the first gay black man to be elected to the Iowa City council this week in a special election. The Gazette of Iowa City reported that Teague had campaigned as a gay man. He defeated Ann Freerks, who has experience with the city’s planning and zoning commission. From The Gazette:

“I honestly think that it was who I am, my personal story, I think that resonated with Iowa Citians,” Teague said. “Someone that isn’t a political person, someone that really does listen to people, and so I think that’s what they really want.”
The at-large seat became open after council member Kingsley Botchway II resigned to take a job with the Waterloo school district earlier this summer.

Human Rights Campaign endorses Pritzker for Illinois gov.

CHICAGO — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced on Tuesday that the organization was endorsing Democrat J.B. Pritzker for Illinois governor. “J.B. Pritzker has the vision and experience needed to build a stronger future for the hard-working families of Illinois,” said HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof in a press release. “From fighting for access to affordable healthcare to standing up to the Trump-Pence White House and their hateful agenda, Pritzker is committed to moving Illinois forward and advancing fairness and equality for all. HRC is proud to endorse J.B. Pritzker for governor.”

HRC said in the press release it had identified more than 2.5 million “Equality Voters,” meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies, in Illinois. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign to mobilize these voters for the midterm elections called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

EI PAC calls on Rauner to stop contributions to anti-LGBTQ attorney general candidate

CHICAGO — Equality Illinois PAC on Friday called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to stop contributing to the attorney general campaign for Republican Erika Harold. Harold has in the past opposed LGBTQ-supportive policies, including marriage equality and a recent law making it easier for transgender people to update their birth certificates. Last month, Rauner told a southern Illinois radio station that he was giving her campaign $1 million dollars. From EI PAC Chair John Litchfield:
“Since Erika Harold is so out of step with Illinois values – the same values that are the foundation of LGBTQ-affirming legislation Governor Rauner has signed into law –– the Equality Illinois PAC calls on Governor Bruce Rauner to suspend any further contributions to Erika Harold’s campaign and to demand a return of his $1 million donation to her campaign last month. We were shocked and dismayed by Governor Rauner’s enormous contribution to Harold’s campaign because he has been supportive of LGBTQ civil rights in the past, even when those in his party opposed him. This is an opportunity for Governor Rauner to live up to the best values of Illinois by not financially supporting a candidate who has a demonstrated record of supporting harmful policies for LGBTQ families.

Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois PAC endorses White, Mendoza, and Frerichs for re-election in the general election

CHICAGO–The Equality Illinois PAC has announced endorsements for both local and statewide offices in this year’s general election. “We are proud to endorse a determined and dedicated slate of over 100 pro-equality candidates from across the state and in all corners of government,” said John Litchfield, chair of the Equality Illinois PAC, in a press release last week. “While we have accomplished so much here in Illinois, we know our work continues in order to defend and secure equality for LGBTQ Illinoisans. At a time when our rights are under attack across the country and by the Trump Administration and his allies in Washington, these endorsed candidates are committed to ensuring that we build a better Illinois and advance justice for LGBTQ Illinoisans. In particular, Secretary White, Comptroller Mendoza, and Treasurer Frerichs have been statewide champions for the inclusion and equality of LGBTQ people.