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LGBTQ Candidates in the 2024 Primaries

Wrap-up of races around the country.

A Republican-backed group spent more than $950,000 to promote a black lesbian prosecutor’s bid for the Democratic nomination to be North Carolina’s next attorney general. One of only two LGBTQ people in the U.S. Senate announced this week she was leaving the job at the end of the year rather than run for re-election. And a Log Cabin Republicans leader said he expects there could be “six or seven” gay Republicans from California as Trump delegates to the party’s presidential nominating convention in Wisconsin in July.


U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) announced this week that she will not seek re-election this year. Sinema, who identifies as bisexual, won election as a Democrat. But she turned Independent two years ago and appeared to be struggling for early support ahead of Arizona’s U.S. Senate race this year. Sinema cited rancor in Congress for her departure. “Because I choose civility, understanding, listening, [and] working together to get stuff done,” said Sinema, in a statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), “I will leave the Senate at the end of this year.”


The gay mayor of California’s second largest city—San Diego—breezed through Super Tuesday’s primary ballot. San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria topped a field of five candidates for the city’s top office. At deadline Wednesday morning, the San Diego elections office showed Todd with 50.88 percent of the vote. He will face off in November against the second-place vote-getter, police officer Larry Turner, who received 24.3 percent. Although the city’s race is non-partisan, Gloria is a Democrat and Turner is an Independent. The big issue in the campaign has been what to do with the city’s large population living on the streets. A supporter of Gloria’s re-election campaign filed a lawsuit challenging Turner’s residency requirement to run for office. The judge overseeing that case has put off a decision until after the primary.

Gay State Assemblyman Evan Low appears to be trailing by 2.1 points in his bid to be on the ballot in November for California’s 16th Congressional District, an open seat representing San Jose and environs.

Gay Republican Alex Balekian, a practicing physician, appears to have won a slot on the November ballot, seeking to represent California’s Congressional District 30, in the Los Angeles region, including West Hollywood.

Gay Democrat Will Rollins will be on the ballot against a Republican incumbent he lost to two years ago. Rollins won enough votes Tuesday to face off once again against incumbent Republican Ken Calvert for Congressional District 40, representing the Coachella Valley.

U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler (D-CA), who was appointed to serve out the remainder of the term of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein when Feinstein died in October, will leave that temporary appointment when California elects its new senator in November.

And Charles Moran, president of the national gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans, predicted there would be “six to seven” openly gay delegates from California alone supporting Trump this July at the Republican National Convention. Moran said the “overwhelming majority” of Log Cabin members, in “informal polling,” are endorsing Trump for president.

North Carolina

In one of the day’s more bizarre developments, the Raleigh News & Observer reported Saturday that a Republican-funded super PAC spent almost $1 million in independent expenditures promoting black queer Attorney General candidate Satana Deberry. Deberry came in second out of three candidates in the Democratic primary for the North Carolina Attorney General position. Deberry earned 33 percent of the Democratic votes Tuesday night, falling behind frontrunner U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson, who received 55 percent.


A lesbian Democrat came out ahead in a field of ten candidates seeking to represent Texas Congressional District 32. With 50.1 percent of the vote, State Rep. Julie Johnson appears to have just barely squeaked through without the need for a run-off.

Bisexual candidate Molly Cook appears to have forced a run-off for a state senate seat in the Houston area. Cook won 20 percent of the vote to the frontrunner’s 39 percent.


U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) will run for re-election in November, against a Republican candidate to be chosen in August.

The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, the national group that promotes openly LGBTQ candidates for office, endorsed more than 50 LGBTQ candidates around the nation in Tuesday’s primary: 32 in California, 13 in Texas, four in North Carolina, two each in Tennessee and Vermont, and one each in Colorado and Arkansas.

© 2024 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.




Lisa Keen

From the White House, Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court to state ballot battles, right-wing tactics, and federal court cases around the country, Keen News Service aims to bring readers reliable information about significant news developments–and deliver that information in a way that is both coherent and in context.
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