Some members of the LGBTQ+ community launched campaigns for elected office this spring and will appear on the ballots this fall.
On April 23 Madison resident Jason Vangalis announced his candidacy for Wisconsin State Assembly District 48, currently held by Rep. Melissa Sargent who will be running for longtime Senator Fred Risser’s Senate District 16 seat.
With a platform that focuses on economic development, jobs and health care, Vangalis is emphasizing his progressive policy stances and has a campaign logo with rainbow, trans and black and brown stripes.
On May 7, Richland County Board Supervisor Shaun Murphy-Lopez declared his candidacy for Wisconsin State Assembly District 49. The seat is currently held by Republican Travis Tranel who is also running for reelection this fall. As a sign of his dedication to rural Wisconsin, Murphy-Lopez made his declaration of entering the race at the clerk’s office in the Village of Yuba (population 70) which is near the 80-acre grass farm where he lives with his husband.
“I am hopeful for our community—that we can begin to grow again—reversing decades of losses in farms, school enrollment, and population,” said Murphy-Lopez. “I’m running for the state legislature because current legislators aren’t solving those problems.”
On May 18 Milwaukee County Democratic Chair Chris Walton announced his candidacy for Wisconsin State Assembly District 17, currently held by David Crawley who is also serving as Milwaukee County Executive and who will not be seeking reelection to the Assembly. Walton was the youngest person to lead the political party in the county and would be the first out candidate elected to the seat.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Walton worked on campaigns for President Barack Obama and Milwauee Alder Chantia Lewis. He serves on the Black Male Achievement Advisory Council for the City of Milwaukee and is a Community Outreach Liaison for the Milwaukee Mayor’s office, focusing on serving Milwaukee’s African-American, LGBT, faith-based, veteran, and labor communities.