A Record Number of LGBTQ Candidates are Running in 2020

A record number of openly LGBTQ candidates ran or are running for office this year, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s Out on the Trail report.

At least 1,006 openly LGBTQ people have run for office in 2020, a 41 percent increase since the last midterm election in 2018, when 716 LGBTQ candidates ran. At least 574 of these candidates will appear on the general election ballot in November, up 33 percent from 432 in 2018.

“More than 1,000 LGBTQ people ran this election cycle – the most in U.S. history – and we expect an unprecedented number to win on Election Day,” said president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund Annise Parker. “This report will show that LGBTQ candidates are significantly more diverse than the overall candidate population, but that we have work to do to ensure LGBTQ candidates are as diverse as America.”

The report shows that LGBTQ candidates are more diverse than the overall candidate population; 31 percent of LGBTQ candidates running this year identify as people of color, up from 29 percent in 2018—when only 10 percent of all candidates were people of color.

While the number of LGBTQ men of color running is proportional to the number of men of color in the general population, women of color are still underrepresented, running at rates half their proportion in the general population.

2020 also saw an increase in gay men (401 versus 332), bisexual (78 versus 39), queer (52 versus 26), and genderqueer/non-binary candidates (17 versus 4) from 2018 but a decrease in transgender candidates (34 versus 48). There was a slight increase in the number of lesbian candidates from 2018 to 2020 (204 versus 192), but a decrease in the overall proportion of lesbian candidates to all LGBTQ candidates (27 percent versus 32 percent).

According to the report, LGBTQ candidates are representing every state except for Alabama in the polls, with Texas, California, and Florida producing the greatest number of LGBTQ candidates. In Georgia, there are at least 26 LGBTQ candidates: six campaigning for local positions, 17 for the state legislature, and three for federal seats.