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LGBTQ State Legislative Candidates in an Era of Backlash

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2020

Donald P. Haider-Markel
University of Kansas
Patrick Gauding
University of Kansas
Andrew Flores
American University
Daniel C. Lewis
Siena College
Patrick R. Miller
University of Kansas
Barry Tadlock
Ohio University
Jami K. Taylor
University of Toledo


In 2017, transgender woman Danica Roem stunned political observers in Virginia by unseating a long-time anti-LGBTQ legislator from a conservative district in the Virginia House of Delegates.1 She was the first openly transgender person elected and seated to a state legislature. Delegate Roem’s election was historic in LGBTQ political representation, but it also occurred in a period when backlash against the LGBTQ community seemed to be growing (Taylor, Lewis, and Haider-Markel 2018). These two threads led us to ask: How are LGBTQ candidates achieving historic successes even as forces seem mobilized against them?

Symposium: State Legislative Elections of 2018
© American Political Science Association 2020

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