2018 Election Review: The Rainbow Wave is real.
However, more work to do!

Rep. elect Joe Cunningham
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. elect J.A. Moore
S.C. House of Representatives

Senator elect Dick Harpootlian
S.C. Senate

In South Carolina, one Congressional seat (U.S. House District #1) flipped from Republican to Democrat—won by pro-equality Joe Cunningham. On the state level, J.A. Moore defeated an incumbent Republican and flipped S.C. House Seat 15 and Dick Harpootlian flipped S.C. Senate Seat 20. All three of these winner’s support SC Equality. In fact, the majority of SC Equality’s PAC’s endorsed candidates won.

Election 2018 is in the books. Change is in the air nationally. However, more work is needed here in South Carolina. As I write, some elections are still too close to call on the national level and ballots are still being counted, recounts have launched, and a flicker of hope remains alive in some high-profile races. While we regret that we fell short on electing a pro-equality Governor, we see hope on several other fronts.

The Rainbow Wave is real, and it has altered the playing field for LGBTQ rights significantly. We emerge from the midterms with more support for statewide LGBTQ protections and more pro-equality lawmakers in in Columbia.

First, voters secured a critical check to the Trump administration’s attack on our community by putting Democrats in control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The net gain of 30+ seats (and counting) will help protect access to healthcare and progress on an LGBTQ non-discrimination bill is now possible.

Second, women, LGBTQ people, people of color, and various faith communities all made historic gains. More openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were elected Tuesday night than in any previous election. At least 153 candidates have won so far with more victories possible as close races are still being tallied.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin won her re-election. Two LGBTQ governors were elected – including Jared Polis in Colorado, the nation’s first openly gay governor, and Kate Brown in Oregon, who is openly bisexual. And a lesbian is one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress.

In states across the country, women ran in historic numbers – and more women were elected to the House than ever before.

Finally, some of the most virulently anti-LGBTQ elected officials were shown the door in states around the country. None more satisfying than Kentucky voters ousting notorious County Clerk Kim Davis who refused marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky.

The Rainbow wave along with the surge of women, black, and young voters is transforming our state and our country. This wasn’t a single wave. It has been many. And the waves haven’t crested, they are building and pushing our state closer to equality, justice, and respect for diversity.

We end the 2018 midterms invigorated, inspired, and ready to hold elected leaders of both parties accountable to our community. We aren’t slowing down between now and 2020.

Hard work remains but we have gained ground because you have stood with us at every turn. Thanks for helping us move closer to a South Carolina where Equal Means Everyone.