The August primary included many LGBTQ+ identified candidates and vocal allies running for office

by | Sep 1, 2020 | 0 comments

  • Chris Walton
  • Shaun Murphy-Lopez
  • JoAnna Bautch
  • Ali Maresh
  • Jason Vangalis

Richland County Board Supervisor Shaun Murphy-Lopez won the primary for Wisconsin State Assembly District 49 and will continue to the November 3 election to challenge incumbent Republican Travis Tranel. 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.

Milwaukee County Democratic Chair Chris Walton ran for Wisconsin State Assembly District 17, currently held by David Crawley. Walton would have been the first out candidate elected to the seat, and though he was the youngest person to lead the political party in the county, he already has a long political resume of leadership. The Democratic primary race was won by Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde.

In another Milwaukee race, community organizer JoAnna Bautch ran for the 8th Assembly district. JoAnna described herself as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and her campaign website featured her sister, out Representative and Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa, who is vacating the seat to serve on the Milwaukee Common Council as the city’s first LGBTQ alder. Bautch was defeated by Milwaukee County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez.

Madison resident Jason Vangalis ran for Wisconsin State Assembly District 48, which was vacated by Rep. Melissa Sargent. He focused his race on progressive policy stances and had a campaign logo with rainbow, trans, and black and brown stripes. The primary race was ultimately won by Madison Common Council member Samba Baldeh.

Mental health advocate Ali Maresh was among the crowded field of candidates for Madison’s 76th Assembly district. Like Vangalis, Maresh’s campaign materials included a rainbow spectrum, and she described herself as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. The primary was won by Francesca Hong who will likely win the solidly Democratic seat in November.

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