A Whopping 44 LGBTQ Texans Are Running for Office in 2018!
The saying is "everything in Texas is bigger", and that may just relate to its ever growing LGBTQ community as it was just revealed that at least 44 LGBTQ Texans are running for office in 2018! Yee haw!
The number is the most in the state's history, tripling the previous record. The bulk of the challengers this year are Democrats, where a smattering of others are running in other parties or non-partisan races.
One of the people running happens to also own one of the most popular gay bars in Texas! Jeffrey Payne, owner of the leather bar The Dallas Eagle, is running for Governor as a Democrat.
Also running for Governor is out lesbian Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who if elected would be the state's first Hispanic senator.
In the more influential lieutenant governor’s position, Kerry Douglas McKennon, who haisl from Petersburg and is running for the Libertarian Party’s nod, is expected to challenge Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the chief proponent of a “bathroom bill” to restrict transgender people’s access to public restrooms.
For another race, eight LGBTQ people are running for Texas congressional seats. Democrat Lorie Burch is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson of Plano, while Democrat John Duncan is running for the open seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of suburban Dallas. Barton is stepping down after a sexting scandal where a nude photo he sent to a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair was made public on social media.
Congrats and good luck to all of our fellow LGBTQ brethren who are running for office this year!
Below is a complete list of known openly LGBTQ candidates in Texas, including the office sought and the person’s city of residence.
• Jeffrey Payne, Governor, Dallas
• Lupe Valdez, Governor, Dallas
• Kerry Douglas McKennon, Lieutenant Governor, Petersburg
• Lorie Burch, U.S. Representative, District 3, Plano
• John Duncan, U.S. Representative, District 6, Arlington
• Mary Wilson, U.S. Representative, District 21, Austin
• Mauro Garza, U.S. Representative, District 21, San Antonio
• Gina Ortiz Jones, U.S. Representative, District 23, San Antonio
• Eric Holguin, U.S. Representative, District 27, Corpus Christi
• Vanessa Edwards Foster, U.S. Representative, District 27, Houston
• James Partsch-Galvan, U.S. Representative, District 29, Houston
• Steve Kirkland, Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 2, Houston
• Charles Spain, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 4, Houston
• Mark Phariss, State Senator, District 8, Plano
• Fran Watson, State Senator, District 17, Houston
• Shannon McClendon, State Senator, District 25, Dripping Springs
• Dylan Forbis, State Representative, District 29, Pearland
• Candace Aylor, State Representative, District 47, Austin
• Celia Israel, State Representative, District 50, Austin (incumbent)
• Stephanie Phillips, State Representative, District 73, Canyon Lake
• Mary Gonzalez, State Representative, District 75, El Paso (incumbent)
• Armando Gamboa, State Representative, District 81, Odessa
• Finnigan Jones, State Representative, District 94, Arlington
• Jessica Gonzalez, State Representative, District 104, Dallas
• Julie Johnson, State Representative, District 115, Carrollton
• Jenifer Pool, State Representative, District 138, Houston
• Cooke Kelsey, District Judge, 113th Judicial District, Houston
• Tonya Parker, District Judge, 116th Judicial District, Dallas (incumbent)
• Beau Miller, District Judge, 190th Judicial District, Houston
• George Arnold, District Judge, 281st Judicial District, Houston
• James Kovach, Judge, Harris County Civil Court-at-Law No. 2, Houston
• Shannon Baldwin, Judge, Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law No. 4, Houston
• Jerry Simoneaux, Judge, Harris County Probate Court-at-Law No. 1, Houston
• Jason Cox, Judge, Harris County Probate Court-at-Law No. 3, Houston
• Rosie Gonzalez, Judge, Bexar County Court-at-Law No. 13 , San Antonio
• Sara Martinez, Dallas County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 1, Dallas (incumbent)
• Susan Steeg, Travis County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, Austin (incumbent)
• Jess Herbst, mayor, New Hope (incumbent)
• Donald Brown, County Judge, Orange County Commissioners Court, Vidor
• John Miller, Harris County Department of Education, Trustee Position 6, Precinct 1, Houston
• Rebecca “Becca” Tucker, Guadalupe County Commissioner, Precinct 4, New Berlin
• Bobby Levinski, Austin City Council, District 8, Austin
This article appears in the January 2018 edition of OutSmart Magazine.