More lesbians were elected this year as mayor of major cities than ever before, according to Annise Parker, the first openly LGBTQ person to serve as mayor of a major city.

The former mayor of Houston and current president and CEO of the Victory Fund, spoke on The Advocate’s weekly podcast The Ten about the electability of LGBTQ candidates.

Parker pointed out that while more LGBTQ candidates have been men, lesbian and female bisexual candidates actually win at a higher rate than gay men.

“Often part of that is that women candidates, in general, tend to wait until they’re a little bit later in their career,” she explained. “They have a little more gravitas, a little more experience before they enter politics.”

She cited two examples: Lori Lightfoot, who was just elected mayor of Chicago; and Jane Castor, the mayor of Tampa.

“Jane Castor was the police chief for a number of years and spent her entire adult life as a police officer, working her way up the ladder in Tampa,” Parker said. “She runs for mayor against a self-funding, multimillionaire and the voters look at her resume. It wasn’t about her sexual orientation; it was who’s the best candidate? Same in Chicago. And that’s what we work really hard to achieve.”

You can listen to Parker’s full interview on The Ten podcast here.

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