LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, named Nick Hellyar and Mario Castillo 2023 LGBTQ ‘Spotlight’ candidates, a designation given to candidates with exceptional potential to be national leaders of the LGBTQ equality movement. Hellyar is running for Houston City Council, At-Large, Position 2 and Castillo is running for Houston City Council, District H.
Robert Gallegos is currently the only out LGBTQ elected official in Houston, according to LGBTQ Victory Institute. Since Council Member Gallegos is not running for reelection, the city is now at risk of losing LGBTQ representation in city government for the first time since 1998.
“Nick and Mario represent the best of Houston. They firmly believe that government works best when it reflects the diversity and strength of its people. Their fresh, exciting vision for the future is rooted in years of public service and community organizing, which is why voters are so enthusiastic about their campaigns. With anti-LGBTQ hate continuing to sweep across the state, strengthening LGBTQ representation in local government could not be more important. Nick and Mario are exceptional leaders and I am confident that under their leadership, all Houstonians will thrive,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.
“Houston has had an LGBTQ member on City Council since Annise Parker’s historic victory. Now, Houston is at risk of being the largest city in the country without LGBTQ representation. This is unacceptable. I am excited to work with LGBTQ Victory Fund to ensure our community’s voice continues to be heard at City Council and throughout Houston,” said Hellyar.
“LGBTQ leaders like former Mayor Annise Parker have transformed Houston for the better, and I will work hard every day to carry on that tradition. We all belong to many communities – I am a Houstonian, a cis gay man, a Latino, a nonprofit leader, and so much more. LGBTQ Victory Fund sees and helps elevate the intersectionality of all these communities. I am deeply honored to have earned their endorsement,” said Castillo.
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to achieve and sustain equality by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government while ensuring they reflect the diversity of those they serve. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.