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.
6. Gina Ortiz Jones
Gina Ortiz Jones is running for Congress in Texas’ 23rd district, a mostly rural area that encompasses parts of San Antonio, along with 800 miles of U.S./Mexico border communities. If elected in November, she will be the first LGBTQ person elected to Congress from her state.
A first-generation American and veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Iraq War, Jones served as an intelligence officer under the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. She has spent almost fifteen years working in national security, including serving as the director for investment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under President Obama.
After running for Texas’s 23rd congressional district in 2018, she was very narrowly defeated by incumbent Republican Will Hurd. Now, in her second go, Jones has racked up a number of impressive endorsements, including from Parker’s Victory Fund.
As Jones told LGBTQ Nation:
I always say I am running very simply to protect the opportunities that allowed me to grow up healthy, get an education, and serve our country. I’m living what’s possible as a result of investing in vulnerable folks.