A record number of LGBTQ+ candidates won their races during the midterm election. Photo: Gagan Cambow

As of Dec. 7, 2022, there are 436 LGBTQ+ winning candidates, 332 of whom picked up endorsements by Victory Fund. LGBTQ+ candidates will fill offices of all kinds, from local school boards to the national stage, in the coming weeks and months. Here is an update on who has won, including those we have profiled on News is Out.


In one of the tightest and most watched races of the election cycle, Oregon gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek defeated both her Republican (Christine Drazan) and Independent (Betsy Johnson) challengers. Kotek has been a member of the Oregon House of Representatives since 2006 and became the first lesbian to lead any state house in 2013. Oregon has had a Democratic leadership since 1987. Kotek’s priorities include dealing with the humanitarian crisis of homelessness and housing stability in the Portland area and the climate crisis, including protecting the state from devastating forest fires. Kotek joins Maura Healey of Massachusetts as the two first openly lesbian governors in United States history.

In Montana, state Sen.-elect Zooey Zephyr decided to run for office after witnessing firsthand the rights of LGBTQ+ and marginalized communities attacked in Montana. Zephyr is a bisexual transgender woman who has been a community advocate for years prior to running for office and is Montana’s first out trans woman elected to state office.

James Roesener made history this election by being the first ever out trans man to be elected to a state legislature. Roesener, 26, won his race for New Hampshire House of Representatives, District 22 Ward 8. His priorities include health care, education, reproductive health and housing solutions for all NH residents.

Tyler Dos Santos-Tam has secured a seat on the Honolulu City Council, making him the first out LGBTQ+ person to hold this position. Dos Santos-Tam is also the Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii for the 2020-2022 term.

News is Out featured candidates

Nearly all candidates featured in News is Out’s election coverage won their elections this cycle.

Liz Bennett: Iowa State Senate

Venton Jones : Texas House of Representatives

Alicia Kozlowski: Minnesota State House

La’ Tasha D. Mayes: Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Emily Randall: Washington State Senate

Eric Sorensen : U.S. House of Representatives (Illinois)

Maggie Trevor: Cook County Board of Commissioners (Illinois)

Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons ran unopposed and will remain in the seat he took over in February 2021 after the resignation of state Sen. Heather Steans.

One of our changemakers, Remy Drabkin, was re-elected as mayor of McMinnville, Oregon. Drabkin had previously stepped into the role as interim mayor.

Allies elected

Allies remain important in all elections and the midterms saw re-elections for some major LGBTQ+ supporters including Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), and new faces like Sen.-elect John Fetterman, Sen.-elect Mark Kelly and Congressman-elect Maxwell Alejandro Frost.

With the rise of “Don’t Say Gay” bills, anti-trans legislation and the Supreme Court currently hearing oral arguments in a case that could negatively alter the landscape for LGBTQ+ consumers, we need all the allies in politics we can get.

Want to share your thoughts on the 2022 midterm elections? Email us at newsisout@localmedia.org.