The Victory Fund has put out a list of "12 races to watch" out of the 120 candidates that they have endorsed in state, local and federal elections throughout the country.
- Tammy Baldwin – U.S. Senate (Wisconsin) – Would be the first openly LGBT American in the U.S. Senate.
- Josh Boschee – North Dakota House of Representatives – Could become the first out member of the N.D. legislature.
- Kate Brown – Oregon Secretary of State – Second highest-ranking elected official in the state.
- David Cicilline – U.S. House (RI1) – Running for his first reelection to Congress in a tight race.
- Sean Patrick Maloney – U.S. House (NY18) – Would be the first openly LGBT member of Congress from N.Y.
- Marie Mayor – Delaware House – Could become the first out state legislator in Delaware.
- Tim Brown – Ohio House of Representatives – Tim would become the only openly LGBT Republican state lawmaker in the U.S.
- Kyrsten Sinema – U.S. House (AZ9) – Would become the first out bisexual elected to Congress.
- Stephen Skinner – West Virginia House of Representatives – Could become the first openly LGBT state lawmaker in W.V.
- Andy Staton – Delaware Senate – Could become the first out state legislator in Delaware.
- Mark Takano – U.S. House (CA41) – Could become the first openly LGBT person of color in Congress.
- Richard Tisei – U.S. House (MA6) – Would become the first out Republican elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.
I pretty much agree with this list, and have been blogging about many of these same races, especially AZ-09, RI-01, MA-06, CA-41 and WI-SEN all year long, since the openly LGBT congressional candidates won their primaries. The most important to me is the Tammy Baldwin Senate race in Wisconsin, primarily because she is a great progressional candidate, and the simple power that an individual Senator can wield in that dysfunctional body. Happily, Tammy has had a clear lead in her race for weeks, has more cash on hand than her opponent, and she has never lost an election ever.
There are some races that I was unaware of, like the Kate Brown race for Secretary of State in Oregon. The number of openly LGBT people who have won statewide races is just more than a handful, so that would be another important milestone.
Of course, these candidate races are probably slightly less important than the specific ballot measure campaigns over marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.