Speed Reads

Rainbow wave

The biggest LGBTQ victories of the 2022 midterms

The 2022 midterms have so far brought a number of victories for the LGBTQ+ community. According to the Victory Fund, 678 LGBTQ+ candidates made it onto the general election ballot this year — a roughly 18 percent increase from 2020. Also, for the first time, there were LGBTQ+ candidates on the ballots in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Wins on the national level:

  • Massachusetts elected its first woman and openly lesbian governor, Maura Healey (D). Her victory flipped the governorship after eight years of Republican leadership. 
  • Tina Kotek (D), another openly lesbian candidate, also made history after winning the Oregon governorship in a tight race.
  • In Vermont, Democrat Becca Balint (D) won the state's only House seat, making her the first woman and member of the LGBTQ+ community to hold the position.
  • California's 42nd District elected Robert Garcia (D), now the first openly gay immigrant to win election to the House of Representatives. Garcia immigrated to the U.S. from Peru at the age of five and was undocumented, but received his citizenship years later as an adult.
  • Eric Sorensen (D) proved victorious in Illinois' 17th District, making him the first member of the LGBTQ community to represent the state in Congress.

Wins on the state level:

  • James Roesener (D), a bisexual transgender man, was elected to the New Hampshire state legislature. He is the first transgender man in the country to be elected to a state legislature.
  • Erick Russell (D) was elected Connecticut treasurer, making him the first Black member of the LGBTQ community to win statewide office anywhere in the country. 
  • Minnesota and Montana elected their first transgender legislators: Leigh Finke (D) and Zooey Zephyr (D), respectively.

Update Nov. 11, 2022: This article has been updated to include additional LGBTQ+ achievements in the 2022 midterms.