It's getting closer and closer to the election. We've already spent a lot of time writing about the candidates for President and Vice President, but we haven't really given that much attention to all the other men and women who are running for office. Seeing as it's still GLBT History month, we thought we'd let you know a little bit about what GLBT candidates there are this year.
But first, some inspiring words from the late Harvey Milk:
The Victory Fund, the nation's largest GLBT political action committee, has endorsed 100 GLBT gay candidates at various levels for 2008, the group's largest endorsement slate ever! They've highlighted 10 candidates that you might not already know, but should:
For a full list of candidates across the United States, at every level of government: Endorsed Candidates map. For openly gay officials already in office across the world: Out Officials map.
- Jason Bartlett - State Representative, Connecticut—Rep. Bartlett came out in 2008 during his current term, making him one of only two openly gay African-American state legislators in the U.S. His reelection would confirm that serving honestly and openly as LGBT is not a barrier to retaining the trust of constituents.
- Kate Brown - Secretary of State, Oregon—Sen. Kate Brown, who currently serves as the Democratic Leader in the Oregon Senate, would become the first openly LGBT Secretary of State in the U.S. In Oregon, the office is the second-highest ranking elected post behind the governor.
- Linda Ketner - U.S. Representative, South Carolina—Linda Ketner is a longtime businesswoman, community activist and philanthropist who is seeking to represent South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in the House of Representatives. She faces an entrenched Republican incumbent, but the state’s political press says Ketner’s campaign has made the race competitive.
- Kevin Lee - State Representative, Pennsylvania—Kevin Lee would become the Keystone State’s first out representative, which would be a milestone for Pennsylvania’s substantial LGBT community. Kevin hopes to represent a swing district in suburban Philadelphia.
- Andrew Martin - State Representative, Nevada—Andrew Martin is seeking a seat in the Nevada Assembly, where he would be the only out state representative. Current State Rep. David Parks, who is also openly gay, is running for the State Senate.
- Sara Orozco - State Senate, Massachusetts—Sara Orozco would be the only openly LGBT state senator in Massachusetts. She faces a notoriously anti-gay incumbent.
- John Perez - State Assembly, California—If elected, John Perez would become the first openly LGBT person of color elected to the California legislature. Perez’ strong support from both the labor and LGBT groups reflects growing alliances between the two communities.
- Jared Polis - U.S. Representative, Colorado—Jared Polis, the former Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, won a hard-fought Democratic primary to represent the 2nd Congressional District. If elected, Jared would become the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.
- Jared Roth - Corporation Commission, Oklahoma—Jim Roth was appointed to this powerful statewide regulatory commission by Gov. Brad Henry after winning two terms on the Oklahoma County Commission. He is now running to keep the seat. Roth would become the first openly gay statewide elected official in Oklahoma.
- Lupe Valdez - Sheriff, Dallas County, Texas—Lupe Valdez became the first woman, the first Latina and the first out lesbian ever elected to this post when she won in 2004. Republicans, still smarting from having lost the seat in 2004, have targeted this county-wide race.