First things first: if you didn’t know by now, the 2018 midterm elections have a record number of women running for seats in the House and Senate (417 women filed to run!), according to a report from Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. And as far as the primaries go, they’re killing it. Some of these women are shaking things up and making history in more ways than one.
According to the Victory Fund website, more than 114 LGBTQ candidates have run in the 2018 primaries. Among them are three incredible LGBTQ women of color who are poised to change the game this year.
Gina Ortiz Jones: Running for U.S. House of Representatives (D-TX)
Jones grew up as the daughter of a domestic worker and a first-generation American, which drives her platform to “ensure the most vulnerable” citizens have opportunities for advancement. Jones graduated from Boston University after a four-year Air Force ROTC Scholarship and went on to become an Iraq war veteran. She was also recently endorsed by Elizabeth Warren in her run for a House seat. If elected, she will be the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Texas (not to mention the first Iraq War Veteran and first Filipina).
Jessica A. Gonzelez: Running for House District 104 (D-TX)
Another LGBTQ Latina running for office in Texas, 37-year-old Gonzalez hopes to improve the quality of life for families—whether that’s through housing or education reform, according to Outsmart Magazine. An out lesbian, Gonzalez also hopes to tackle the “bathroom issue” affecting transgender citizens should that issue arise in her state in 2019. So far, Gonzalez has received endorsements from Dallas Morning News and the Mexican American Bar Association, according to her campaign website. If elected, Jessica will be the first openly LGBTQ person elected to this district the Texas State House.
Mary Gonzalez: Currently sitting in House District 75 (D-TX)
Mary Gonzalez currently holds a seat in the Texas House of Representatives in El Paso County. During her time in office, she’s “authored numerous bills that fought to improve schools, increase economic development, and support agriculture in House District 75,” according to the Victory Fund. An openly pansexual woman, Gonzalez is passionate about farming and animals and has worked hard to create agricultural opportunities for her constituents. After defeating her opponent in the primaries in March, Gonzalez already reclaimed her seat, as no Republican candidate ran for the seat in her district—a major victory for an LGBTQIA-identified Latina.