Four openly LGBTQ non-incumbent candidates won their Texas state House primary races Tuesday night – Madeline Eden, Eric Holguin, Ann Johnson and Eliz Markowitz– as did all five incumbent LGBTQ state legislators. The victories make it likely LGBTQ representation will increase in the state House, one of the worst in the country for putting forward anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Holguin, Johnson and Markowitz are in districts considered key pickups for Democrats looking to take back the lower chamber, as are incumbent LGBTQ state Reps. Julie Johnson and Erin Zwierner. State Reps. Jessica González, Mary González and Celia Israel are in relatively safe seats. The large number of openly LGBTQ candidates running in battleground districts means LGBTQ candidates may be key to flipping the state House in November.
Former Houston mayor and President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, Mayor Annise Parker, released the following statement about the victories:
“Texas is witnessing a rainbow revolution, with openly LGBTQ candidates winning key swing districts that can determine the fate of the state House come November. We remain one of the most homophobic and transphobic state legislatures in the nation, in terms of the number of anti-LGBTQ bills put forward, and the best remedy for that nonsense is to elect more LGBTQ leaders who will standup to the bigotry and hatred. The women of the LGBTQ caucus are changing the hearts and minds of their legislative colleagues every day, but they need backup. We have the opportunity to nearly double the number of openly LGBTQ state legislators – and that would be transformative.”