While the LGBT community and its allies are disheartened by ballot results in Arkansas, Arizona, California and Florida, a look at this election's nationwide results of elected LGBT officials give us much to be hopeful about. In a record-breaking election, more than 70 percent of the openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates running for public offices across the country were elected on Tuesday. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed a total of 111 candidates in this cycle. Chuck Wolfe, President and CEO of the Victory Fund, released the following statement:
"This was a watershed election. Our government became more representative and our democracy became stronger. As we near the 30th anniversary of the death of Harvey Milk, it's enormously gratifying to see his dream realized in so many brave men and women heeding the call to run for office, and doing so openly, honestly and unafraid"Among the winners:
- Jared Polis of Colorado became the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. Congress as a non-incumbent. Polis joins Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Tammy Baldwin, both reelected, as the only openly LGBT Members of Congress.
- Kate Brown of Oregon became the first openly LGBT Secretary of State in the U.S.
- Jason Bartlett of Connecticut became the second openly gay African-American state legislator in the nation as he was reelected to the Connecticut State House.
- John Perez became the first openly gay person of color elected to the California Assembly.
- Kevin Beckner won a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission in Florida as the first openly gay man to be elected in the county.
- Rebecca Kaplan became the first openly gay woman elected to the Oakland, California City Council.