get out and vote

9 queer political figures creating a more perfect union this election year

2020 is shaping up to be the mother of all election years, and not just because there is a political awakening happening all across the nation. The sheer number of LGBTQ candidates running for office at all levels of government is unprecedented in American history.

With literally hundreds of queer candidates on ballots and even more working behind the scenes, it would be impossible to include them all in our Pride 50 roundup. So we've done our best to select a mix of people to highlight, knowing full well that there are many, many others who are just as deserving and worthy of honor this pride season.

Regardless of what happens in November, these politicos are taking up the challenge to run for office, raise funds, and to organize and strategize behind the scenes, all helping to pave the way for the future of equality.

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2. Tammy Baldwin

Tammy Baldwin is the junior Senator from Wisconsin whose electoral success has been marked with a number of historic firsts.

In 1993, she became the first openly lesbian member of the Wisconsin Assembly. During her six-year tenure, she took on President Clinton’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and proposed legalizing same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships in Wisconsin.

In 1998, Baldwin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin, as well as the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the House of Representatives, and the first open lesbian elected to Congress.

In 2012, she achieved yet another first when she became the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the U.S. Senate. That year, she was quoted by Time magazine as saying “I didn’t run to make history” on her historic win despite having done just that. It is her combination of progressive politics and human decency that makes her the most popular politician in a swing state. In 2018, she was re-elected to a second term with over 55% of the vote, handily defeating her Republican opponent by 11 points despite a generally divided electorate.

To top it off, she’s on the shortlist of potential VP picks for Joe Biden. Now that would be the first of all firsts.

Baldwin said in 2019:

We need strong, articulate, bright, passionate people in all levels of government. I started on the county board and served at the state level and now I’m humbled to serve at the national level, but our unique voices matter at all levels.

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