Incumbents Amy Fowler (who serves as City Council chair) and Chris Wharton won their reelection campaigns. Darin Mano and Alejandro Puy won their seats on the city council and also broke glass ceilings themselves; Mano is the first openly LGBTQ+ Asian person to serve on the council, and Puy is the first openly LGBTQ+ Latin person to do so. Both Mano and Puy are openly gay men.
“I didn’t get all of the politicians’ endorsements,” Puy, who immigrated from Argentina and moved to Utah for college, told the Salt Lake Tribune, “but I spent my time knocking on doors, and I think that makes a difference.”
“LGBTQ people are severely underrepresented in governments across Utah, so holding a majority of seats on the Salt Lake City Council is a milestone moment for the city and the state,” Mayor Annise Parker, who serves as President & CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement. Parker described Salt Lake as one of “just a handful” of city councils in the nation with a majority of openly queer people.
“The lived experiences of the LGBTQ members will ensure more inclusive policymaking,” Parker added.
In total, more than 80 openly LGBTQ+ candidates won elections on Tuesday, which is a huge deal. Right now, there are just over 990 openly queer people holding public office in the nation, but not all of those folks ran for reelection. According to The Advocate, when the new set of candidates are sworn in, we’ll still have more than 1,000 openly queer elected officials, however, which is huge.
To get a deeper idea of where Puy and Mano stand on issues, you can check out some debate clips from earlier this October. I especially recommend listening in if you’re interested in how some progressives want to help unhoused folks.
Here is Puy.
And here is Mano.