LGBTQ Women Balance Opportunity, Possible Extinction in Congress

Nathan L. Gonzales September 21, 2017 · 9:41 AM EDT

It’s been almost 20 years since Tammy Baldwin’s historic election, yet just one woman has followed her through the LGBTQ glass ceiling. And if both women lose competitive races in 2018, the next Congress could be without any LGBTQ women.

While the lack of LGBTQ women in Congress is inextricably linked to the dearth of women on Capitol Hill, the story of lesbian candidates includes some close calls, quixotic races, and a movement still evolving to position more qualified LGBTQ women to run for higher office.

“We have to figure out the secret sauce of how Tammy did it,” said Aisha Moodie-Mills, president of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. In 1998, the Wisconsin Democrat became the first openly gay nonincumbent elected to Congress, with help from the Human Rights Campaign, the Victory Fund, and others.

But in the intervening two decades, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who identifies as bisexual, is the only other openly LGBTQ woman elected to Congress, meaning LGBTQ women currently make up less than half of one percent of the lawmakers in Congress — 1 out of 435 in the House and 1 out of 100 in the Senate. (In 2012, Baldwin became the first openly gay elected senator.)

If Sinema leaves her 9th District seat to run for the Senate, the 116th Congress could be without…

Alabama Senate Special: What’s Moore Strange Than a Democratic Opportunity in the South?

Leah Askarinam September 15, 2017 · 2:30 PM EDT

BIRMINGHAM- What began as a controversial appointment to replace Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions has devolved into a confusing battle within the Republican Party.

Alabama Republicans selected former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and appointed Sen. Luther Strange over a handful of candidates…

House Retirement Update: Republicans Head for the Exits

Nathan L. Gonzales September 15, 2017 · 2:29 PM EDT

Don’t say we didn’t warn you. 

In the last issue, we wrote about the surprisingly few number of Members who have announced their retirement from the House this cycle. But since then, the retirement tide has started to swell.

Over the last 40 years, 22 Members, on average, have left Congress…

Kansas 2nd and 3rd:  A Sliver of Blue in Trump Country?

Leah Askarinam September 15, 2017 · 2:28 PM EDT

At the moment, it’s good to be a Republican in Kansas. Since 2010, Republicans have won every statewide election and the GOP holds all six of Kansas’s federal offices, including both Senate seats and the state’s four congressional districts.

But President Donald Trump’s mediocre job rating will…

Candidate Conversation - Mike Levin (D)

September 15, 2017 · 2:27 PM EDT

Candidate for California’s 49th District

Interview Date: Sept. 13, 2017

Date of Birth: Oct. 10, 1978; Long Beach, Calif.

Education: Stanford (2001), Duke Law (2005)

Political Office: None; First run for office

Current Outlook: Levin is a top contender in the southern California district which…