by Joe Siegel
The recent midterm elections were notable for the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives and the victories of several LGBT candidates. LGBT publications, especially weeklies, were under the gun to provide coverage of the major races. Some adjusted their schedules to provide the most timely coverage.
“At the top of the ballot, ally Beto O’Rourke came up just short in his epic bid to unseat incumbent Republican — and notoriously anti-gay U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz,” reported the Dallas Voice. “Three LGBT candidates for U.S. House seats — Lorie Burch, Gina Ortiz Jones and Eric Holguin — also came up short, although both Burch and Jones pulled in well over 40 percent of the vote in their races.”
|Houston’s OutSmart, just before
the midterm elections
In Chicago, “From Democrat J.B. Pritzker dethroning Republican Bruce Rauner in the Illinois gubernatorial race to Colorado’s Jared Polis becoming the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States, a sea change took place at the polls,” reported Windy City Times.
“Pritzker — whose cousin Jennifer is transgender — pledged his support for the LGBT community early on, frequently citing his mother’s support of LGBT rights as his inspiration. Shortly before the primaries, he told Windy City Times that, ‘We’ve got to stop the rise of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. We’ve got to pass budgets that fund programs like the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, PrEP for Illinois, HIV testing, anti-bullying initiatives, and health and safety programs in the LGBTQ community. The budget of the state of Illinois is a moral document that speaks to the values of our government. The values of our government ought to be standing up for the LGBTQ community.’”
Windy City Times publishes its election guides the two weeks before an election, explained executive editor Andrew Davis. “We don’t endorse, but we send questionnaires to every candidate; those that are returned are scored, and we also include the endorsements of certain organizations, such as HRC and Chicago NOW.”
Between The Lines, based in Livonia, Mich., reported the boost in gay representation in Congress. “Three gay and lesbian non-incumbent candidates — Angie Craig in Minnesota, Chris Pappas in New Hampshire and Sharice Davids in Kansas — were confirmed the winners Tuesday night in the bid for seats in the U.S. House amid ‘blue’ victories that propelled Democrats to take control of the chamber.”
“Another candidate who’s bisexual, Katie Hill in California, appeared to have beaten incumbent Rep. Steve Knight in her bid to represent her state’s 25th congressional district in the House, but those results were close and weren’t declared as of Wednesday morning,” the Michigan paper noted.
South Florida Gay News’ (SFGN) headline was “LGBT Advocates Celebrate Democrats Winning House.”
According to the paper’s reporting, “Topping the list for what LGBT rights supporters were expecting from the House with Democrats in control was oversight of the Trump administration’s anti-LGBT policies and advancement of the Equality Act. Sarah McBride, a transgender advocate and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, identified the Equality Act as a top priority with Democrats finally in control of the House.”
SFGN Editor Jason Parsley said the paper “went to print on Wednesday instead of Tuesday night in order to be able to include some election coverage. We do this during presidential and midterm elections.”