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Nine Local LGBTQ Candidates Advance in Democratic Primary Elections

Three contenders head to runoffs on May 24.

Ann Johnson (top left-clockwise), Jason Cox, Jerry Simoneaux, Shannon Baldwin, Michelle Palmer, Josh Tutt, Beau Miller, Jim Kovach and Porscha Natosha Brown won their primary election races.

At least nine local LGBTQ candidates won their races in the March 1 primary elections. 

Six of those Democratic men and women are incumbents who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, and the other three would be first-time office holders if they win in November. 

The Victory Fund, a national political-advocacy organization that works to get LGBTQ politicians elected to office, reports that two dozen out Texans won in primary races around the state.

“Twenty-four out LGBTQ candidates won their elections last night in the Texas primary, a historic number and a 33 percent increase from 2020, when 18 candidates won,” the Victory Fund said in a statement. “Ten of these candidates are running for the Texas State Legislature, a body with just six out members currently serving.” 

Three local LGBTQ candidates—Jolanda Jones, Ben Chou, and Steve Duble—advanced to the May 24 runoff elections. (By State law, the top two candidates proceed to a runoff when no candidate receives more than the 50 percent of votes cast.)  

Jolanda Jones, the lesbian candidate for State Representative in District 147, received 41.74 percent of the vote. She will face Danielle Keys Bess in the runoff election. Bess received 19.96 percent of the March 1 vote, coming in a distant second to Jones. If she wins in November, Jones would be the first out LGBTQ Black woman elected to the State Legislature. 

The nine LGBTQ Texas candidates who won their Democratic primary races: 

  • Ann Johnson – State Representative, District 134
  • Josh Tutt – State Senator, District 18
  • Michelle Palmer – Member, State Board of Education, District 6
  • Jerry Simoneaux – Judge, County Probate Court No. 1 
  • Jason Cox – Judge, County Probate Court No. 3
  • Shannon Baldwin – Judge, County Criminal Court No. 4
  • Jim Kovach – Judge, County Civil Court at Law No. 2
  • Porscha Natosha Brown – Judge, County Criminal Court No. 3 
  • Beau Miller – District Judge, 190th Judicial District 

The three candidates who advanced to runoff elections:

  • Jolanda Jones – State Representative, District 147
  • Ben Chou – County Commissioner, Precinct 4
  • Steve Duble – Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1 Place 2

For complete Harris County election results, visit

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Lourdes Zavaleta

Lourdes Zavaleta is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.
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