George Diepenbrock
KU News Service

Reaction to policies, deeper bench has fueled LGBT candidates in Texas, political scientist says

Tue, 06/05/2018

LAWRENCE — More than 50 LGBT candidates in conservative-leaning Texas are running for political office this cycle, likely a response to the current national climate and developments of the past two decades, according to a University of Kansas researcher who studies LGBT candidates.

Don Haider-Markel, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, is available to discuss trends among candidates from minority groups. He has studied the prospects of LGBT candidates for several years, including serving as lead author of a study that examined public opinion surrounding transgender candidates.

"Because most LGBT candidates run as Democrats, the surge seems to be partly a result of increased Democratic enthusiasm in response to Trump as well as increased political participation by all nontraditional groups — including women and racial minorities — in response to the Trump administration's policies," he said.

Haider-Markel said the past 25 years have also seen more and more LGBT candidates running and winning.

"This has created a large bench of experienced candidates and staff that are increasingly running for higher offices," he said.

To arrange an interview with Haider-Markel, contact George Diepenbrock at 785-864-8853 or

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