Pro-Equality Eliz Markowitz Forces Runoff In Texas Special Election

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics

Markowitz has the opportunity to defeat anti-equality incumbent and become the sixth openly queer woman elected to the Texas state legislature.

HRC released the following statement celebrating Eliz Markowitz’s victory in the special election for the Texas State House of Representatives:

“Tonight’s results make it clear the Eliz Markowitz’s message of equality and fairness has resonated with Texas voters,” said HRC Texas State Director Rebecca Marques. “Texans need leaders like Eliz in Austin working to protect us and bring us closer to full equality, especially as lawmakers at the state and federal level continue to pursue anti-equality policies that harm LGBTQ Texans. HRC was proud to endorse Eliz and will continue to help turn out the vote in the weeks to come.”

In 2018, HRC deployed staff on the ground across the state to help elect pro-equality candidates across Texas. Our work led to a resurgence for pro-equality candidates across Texas. Earlier this year, HRC added Texas as a Project One America state, increasing our electoral and programmatic work across the state. In addition to Markowitz,this year  HRC has endorsed Reps. Fletcher and Allred, congressional candidates Gina Ortiz Jones and State Rep. Julie Johnson.

Heading into the 2019 Texas legislative session, there were 23 anti-LGBTQ bills filed. With the leadership of the newly created LGBTQ Caucus, the Texas legislative session concluded with only one anti-LGBTQ bill, SB 1978, being passed into law. SB 1978 was originally filed as a broad, sweeping anti-LGBTQ bill. However, after concerns raised by the LGBTQ Caucus, advocates and other organizations, significant changes were made to the bill.

The LGBTQ caucus was started by five women in the House: State Rep. Mary González, Rep. Celia Israel, Rep. Jessica González, Rep. Julie Johnson and Rep. Erin Zwiener. Several of the members identify as openly LGBTQ. Earlier this year, at the National Conference for State Legislators in Nashville, the Human Rights Campaign honored the members with a reception to celebrate their leadership and legislative success in 2019. Should Markowitz be elected, she would join the caucus as its sixth member.