The Rainbow Wave came to MSNBC as Victory Fund President and CEO, former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, appeared on Morning Joe to discuss the rise of LGBTQ candidates in 2018. Nearly one million viewers tuned in to the program—982,671 people, to be precise! Watch Mayor Parker’s interview about the 400+ Out LGBTQ candidates running here:
This interview falls on the heels of the New York Times article “A ‘Rainbow Wave’? 2018 has More L.G.B.T. Candidates than Ever,” which featured Mayor Parker and Victory. She talked anti-trans bathroom bills, religious freedom bills targeting the LGBTQ community, the consequences of the Trump administration for the LGBTQ people in America, and the process of running as an openly LGBTQ candidate.
She also discussed Victory Institute’s Out for America map, which highlights the 559 currently known out sitting elected officials in the United States. “This is a surge of candidates. Many of them reflect the broader wave of women, of candidates of color, of trans candidates,” Mayor Parker said in response to how the current political climate is encouraging the LGBTQ community to run for office. She also pointed out that there are LGBTQ Republican candidates representing communities in our country—a fact often overlooked in discussions of LGBTQ candidates and elected officials.
Mayor Parker also discussed the way LGBTQ candidates run their campaigns. Danica Roem became the case study in the way she focused on infrastructure issues, such as fixing the highway running through her district that was affecting her constituents, rather than focusing on her trans identity. Mayor Parker stated that “Danica executed perfectly on the playbooks, and that is to be open and authentic, to allow voters to know who you are but to know what you care about.”