LGBT candidates and issues fared well during elections Tuesday night across the U.S.
At least 53 of 75 candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund won their elections, and two races remain undecided. Of the 75 candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund in 2011, 46 were non-incumbents, 22 were women and 15 were people of color.
“The election of gay and lesbian candidates in places where they have never won before is a major step forward, and we could not be happier about these victories,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund. “All of the openly LGBT candidates who stepped up to run for office this year are true leaders who deserve our profound thanks.”
Here are some of the election highlights:
• Democrat Annise Parker was re-elected as mayor of Houston, Texas, America’s fourth-largest city, despite having multiple opponents and despite a homophobic smear campaign launched by anti-gay groups.
•Adam Ebbin, a Democrat, became the first openly gay person elected to the state Senate in Virginia.
• Democrat Tim Eustace became the first non-incumbent openly gay candidate to win a seat in the state Assembly in New Jersey.
•Alex Morse, 22, a gay Democrat and a May graduate of Brown University, won his race for mayor of Holyoke, Mass. Morse is a protégé of the openly gay U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline when Cicilline was mayor of Providence, R.I.
• Democrat Daniel Hernandez Jr., the intern who helped save the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was overwhelmingly elected to the Sunnyside Unified school board in Pima County, Ariz.
•Chris Seelbach made history in Ohio as the first openly gay candidate to win a seat on the Cincinnati City Council, helping to give Democrats control of the council.
•Mike Laster becomes the first openly gay man elected to the Houston City Council.
•Robin Kniech becomes the first openly gay member of the Denver City Council.
•LaWana Mayfield, a Democrat, becomes the first openly gay member of the Charlotte, N.C., City Council.
•Zach Adamson becomes the first openly LGBT city councilmember in Indianapolis City Council.
•Caitlin Copple win a seat on the Missoula, Mont., City Council.
• Openly gay Ryan Mello elected to Tacoma, Wash., City Council after serving as an appointee to a vacant seat.
• Gay candidate Daryl Finizio, a Democrat, is easily elected mayor of New London, Conn.
• Straight ally Liz Mathis won a crucial special election in Iowa, allowing Democrats to retain a razor-thin majority in the state Senate where the Majority Leader has vowed to beat back attempts to outlaw marriage equality.
•Bruce Harris is believed to have made history as the first openly gay, African-American Republican mayor in the U.S. after winning election in the Borough of Chatham, N.J., after serving on the council.
• Broward County, Florida (Fort Lauderdale)passed equal benefits ordinance.
•Traverse City, Mich., voters retain city’s nondiscrimination ordinance despite efforts to overturn the law.