Central PA's LGBT News Source

LGBT Election Round-up

Rainbows in the voting booth


Forty years ago, Harvey Milk became one of the first openly gay officials in the United States in 1977, when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Tragically, he was killed the following year. Four decades later, LGBT political candidates are all over the map of the United States.

The mid-term Nov. 7 General Elections nationwide ushered in even more gay candidates.


Locally, Harrisburg’s Ben Allatt was elected to a second term on Harrisburg City Council. Former Harrisburg City Council member Dan Miller was formally installed a Treasurer after being appointed to fill the vacated seat. Chris Dietz was re-elected to a term on Millersburg Borough Council.


Sean Strub was elected mayor of Milford, PA, after being appointed to serve an unexpired term.

Erie School Board candidate Tyler Titus is now the first openly transgender person elected to office in Pennsylvania.


Nationwide, LPAC, a national lesbian political action committee that supports candidates, saw many of their candidates elected.

• Phil Murphy, for Governor of New Jersey: The former Ambassador to Germany, Murphy is committed to restoring New Jersey’s place as a state that stands for progressive values and is a strong champion of women’s and LGBTQ equality

• Danica Roem, VA House of Delegates, District 13: A journalist and news reporter who was born and raised in Manassas, Roem is the first transgender elected official in Virginia.

• Elizabeth Guzman, VA House of Delegates, District 31: A public administrator and a social worker, Guzman is an immigrant from Peru who came to the US as a single mother looking for a better future for her oldest daughter. Her top priorities include affordable healthcare, protecting equality for women and the LGBT community, and transportation issues.

• Jennifer Carroll Foy, VA House of Delegates, District 2: Foy is a woman of color who graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. She enrolled in only the third class of female cadets to attend the historically all-male college.

• Kelly Fowler, VA House of Delegates, District 21: Fowler is running against an anti-choice opponent with a long history of also opposing LGBTQ and immigration rights. Her top priorities include increased funding for public schools, sensible gun policy, and strong protections against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in schools and by employers.

• Dr. Dawn Adams, VA House of Delegates, District 68: Dr. Adams is a nurse practitioner and has a doctorate degree in nursing. She has worked with the Virginia General Assembly as an advocate and advisor on healthcare. She is openly gay and lives with her partner of 15 years.

• Donte Tanner, VA House of Delegates, District 40: Tanner is an Air Force veteran and small business owner. Tanner’s top priorities are increasing access to healthcare, protecting a woman’s right to choose and make her own healthcare choices, and ending gerrymandering.

• Minneapolis city council member Andrea Jenkins was elected the first black transgender lawmaker elected in the U.S.

Ohio Elects 11

Gay and lesbian candidates were elected to city councils in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Newark and Toledo, as 11 of 20 LGBTQ contenders won local offices across Ohio. In all, openly gay and lesbian candidates won more than 340,000 votes. Among the day’s winners: Democrat Megan Kilgore was elected city auditor in Columbus with 77 percent of the vote, and Democrat Ryan Messer was the biggest vote-getter in a field of 13 candidates for the Cincinnati Board of Education.

Incumbent city council members Chris Seelbach of Cincinnati, Kerry McCormack of Cleveland, Shannon Hardin of Columbus and Jeremy Blake of Newark all won new terms.

First-time candidates Tamaya Dennard of Cincinnati, Sean Farrell of Newark and Nick Komives of Toledo also won election to their city councils.

Other Ohio results:

• Incumbent school board member Patrick Bravo won re-election in Akron.

• In suburban Columbus, David Donofrio won election to the Board of Education for South-Western City Schools.

• Four openly gay incumbents lost races Tuesday: two-term City Council member Kevin Wadsworth Johnson in Portsmouth; three-term Dayton school board member Joe Lacey; Maple Heights City Council President Richard Trojanski, who was running in the district he represented for two terms; and Matt Boettcher, who was appointed this spring to the Village Council in the Cincinnati suburb of Golf Manor and was seeking a full term.

• In Cincinnati, Democrat Lesley Jones and Republican Seth Maney finished out of the running for City Council seats. Renee Hevia lost out on a school board seat by 100 votes, and Hamilton County Municipal Court candidate Darlene Rogers lost her bid.

• Erin Upchurch, who ran on a progressive ticket for the Columbus school board, fell less than 500 votes short.