The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund today announced its list of “10 Races to Watch” for 2011. Each of the candidates on the list faces a general election November 8.
“These are exciting and even historic races,” said Shawn Werner, the Victory Fund’s director of campaign services. “In each case a victory would mean a real step forward for a local LGBT community, and some of these will be very competitive up until Election Day.”
“You hear some call 2011 an ‘off year’ for politics, but that’s wrong. We’ve endorsed 75 candidates this year, largely in municipal elections. These local races are incredibly important. We don’t just win equality nationally or even statewide. We win it every day, city by city and town by town,” said Werner.
Victory Fund’s “10 Races to Watch” featuring openly gay and lesbian candidates are (pictured left to right):
Zach Adamson, Indianapolis City Council – Adamson could become Indianapolis’ first openly LGBT city council member. Learn more here.
Caitlin Copple, Missoula, Montana City Council – Missoula has become a focal point of the Montana debate over LGBT non-discrimination laws. Copple’s election would add an authentic voice from the LGBT community to this discussion and many others concerning her community. Learn more here.
Bevan Dufty, San Francisco Mayor – A former San Francisco Supervisor who represented the same district as Harvey Milk for 8 years, Dufty is prepared to continue Milk’s legacy and serve as the top elected official in the city. A victory in this race would make him San Francisco’s first openly LGBT mayor. Learn more here.
Patrick Forrest, Virginia State Senate – If he wins, Patrick would become the only openly LGBT Republican state legislator in America, and one of the first openly LGBT members of the Virginia Senate. Learn more here.
Daniel Hernandez, Jr., Sunnyside Unified School District Board of Governors, Tucson, Ariz. – When his boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot along with numerous others at a district event in Tucson, Hernandez sprang into action and is credited with helping to save Giffords’ life. The world marveled at his quick thinking and leadership qualities on display that day, and many have urged him to consider a career in public service. Learn more here.
LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte, N.C., City Council – Mayfield’s primary victory made national news because Charlotte has never elected an openly LGBT city council member. She’ll finish the job and join the council if she wins her general election. Learn more here.
Pam Miller, Savannah, Ga., City Council – Miller could become the first openly LGBT candidate in Georgia to win outside the Atlanta metro area. Learn more here.
Alex Morse, Mayor, Holyoke, Mass. – At just 22, Morse already has a public service record to rival candidates twice his age. In the primary he bested the incumbent mayor by a single vote. He could make history this November as the city’s youngest and first openly LGBT mayor. Learn more here.
Rory Neuner, Lansing, Mich., City Council – Neuner has already worked to make Lansing a better city, and her door-to-door campaign for city council could make her the only openly LGBT city council member. Learn more here.
Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati, Ohio, City Council – Seelbach has already been instrumental in making Cincinnati a more welcoming place for all families. Now he could become its first openly LGBT city council member. Learn more here.