Press Release

Victory Fund names “Ten Races to Watch”

Mon, Oct 11th 2010, 09:16


Contact: Denis Dison (202) 567-3308,

Ten Compelling Openly LGBT Candidates in Three-Week Sprint to Election Day

Washington, D.C.—The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national political action committee dedicated to electing openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates, released its “Ten Races to Watch” list for 2010, highlighting ten compelling campaigns that could have a significant impact on LGBT communities both locally and nationally.

The ten endorsed candidates on the list represent a fraction of the Victory Fund’s largest and most diverse slate of openly LGBT candidates in the organization’s 19-year history.  The Fund endorsed 164 candidates for 2010 races, and more than 100 will stand for election on November 2nd.

“This will be a banner year for our mission—to change America’s politics by electing more LGBT leaders to public office.  We know out elected officials can be a leading political indicator of real change, so it’s exciting to see so many candidates stepping up to run for office this year,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.

The Victory Fund’s “Ten Races to Watch” for 2010 are (alphabetically):

Marcus Brandon—North Carolina House of Representatives (60th District)
With the retirement of N.C. State Sen. Julia Boseman, Brandon would become North Carolina’s only openly LGBT state legislator, and one of just five out African-American state lawmakers in the U.S.  Brandon ousted a four-term incumbent in the Democratic primary, and now faces a Republican opponent on November 2.

David Cicilline—U.S. House of Representatives (Rhode Island, 1st Congressional District)
Providence Mayor David Cicilline beat three primary opponents to stand in the general election this November.  If he wins, Cicilline would become just the seventh openly gay or lesbian person to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Jim Gray—Mayor, Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington Vice Mayor Jim Gray is in a close race for the city’s top elected office.  The construction company executive is passionate about running city government like he has run his family’s nationally known business, Gray Construction.  Gray was elected Vice Mayor in 2006 by an overwhelming margin.

Dan Hill—Nevada House of Representatives (District 29)
Dan could become the new face of the Republican Party in Nevada.  He’s a staunch fiscal conservative who believes the party will thrive if it also stays out of citizens’ personal lives.  As an openly gay man, Dan could help bridge the political divide on issues like LGBT equality.

Laurie Jinkins—Washington House of Representatives (District 27)
As a public health and education advocate, social justice leader,  community volunteer, lawyer, and mom, Laurie Jinkins is a problem solver with a track record of bringing diverse people and interests together to help working families build community, and to make sure the marginalized have a voice. In Olympia, Laurie will be a strong voice for positive change, and the state legislature’s first openly lesbian member.

Aaron Kampfe--Montana State Senate (District 30)
This two-term city council member from Red Lodge, Montana is now running for the State Senate, where he would join two other out state legislators whose authentic voices represent the LGBT community in state government.  Red Lodge is the largest city in this Senate district, and Aaron is well-known to area voters.  

Victoria Kolakowski—Superior Court Judge, Alameda County, Calif.
Victoria Kolakowski, a lawyer and administrative law judge with a strong background as an LGBT civil rights advocate, is running to become a judge on Superior Court of Alameda County, California.  If she wins, Victoria will become America’s first openly transgender judge.

Kevin Lembo—Connecticut State Comptroller
Kevin Lembo could become one of just a handful of openly LGBT people ever to be elected statewide, and that would make him one of the highest-ranking openly gay government officials in America.

Evan Low—Mayor, Campbell, Calif.
At 26, Evan Low is currently the youngest openly gay mayor in America.  He was elected to the post by his colleagues on the city council in December, a testament to his remarkable leadership skills and bright future.  He’s facing nine candidates in an election to fill just two positions on the city council.

Steve Pougnet--U.S. House of Representatives (California, 45th Congressional District)
Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet could become the first and only openly gay parent if he’s able to beat the GOP incumbent, Rep. Mary Bono Mack.  Pougnet is Bono Mack’s strongest challenger in years, and among the Democratic Party’s greatest chances to pick up a seat now held by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is the only national organization dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels of government in the.  Since its founding in 1991, the number of LGBT elected officials in the U.S. has grown from 49 to more than 500. Visit for more information.

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