Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund
|Key people||Susan Atkins-Weathers (Chair)
Robert Gleason (Vice-Chair)
Steve Elmendorf (Secretary)
Harvey Hurdle (Treasurer)
|Motto||Out To Win|
The Victory Fund was founded in 1991 by Vic Basile and William Waybourn, with Waybourn becoming its first executive director. It provides strategic, technical and financial support to openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender candidates and officials across the United States, helping them win elections at local, state and federal levels. Victory has helped elect several hundred openly LGBT candidates to Congress, state legislatures, school boards and city councils. The organization also offers programs and training to elected officials.
The Victory Fund endorses dozens of openly LGBT candidates each year, increasing exposure to potential donors and providing both strategic and material support. Past endorsees include Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, Sean Patrick Maloney, David Cicilline, Lupe Valdez, Victoria Kolakowski, Patricia Todd and Virginia Linder. The first candidate the Victory Fund endorsed was Sherry Harris, who was elected to the City Council in Seattle, Washington, making her the first openly lesbian African-American elected official.
In 1995, the Victory Fund was a principal organizer of a meeting between representatives of the Clinton administration and several dozen leaders of gay and lesbian organizations.
In 2008, 80 of the group's 111 endorsed candidates won their elections.
In 2009, the Victory Fund played an important role in the election of Annise Parker as mayor of Houston. In electing an out lesbian as its chief executive, Houston became the largest city in the country to have elected an openly gay person as mayor. Local gay groups, particularly the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, had nurtured Parker's political career and were openly supporting her race. The Victory Fund became a huge player in the race by providing a much-needed source of cash for Parker's grassroots efforts and helping her stay financially competitive with her two chief rivals, both of whose campaigns were lavishly funded. After the campaign, Parker referred to the Victory Fund as her "secret weapon" and thanked the organization for its help.
The Victory Fund is the nation’s largest LGBT political action committee and one of the nation’s largest non-connected PACs. Its President and CEO since 2003 is Chuck Wolfe.
- Rimmerman, Craig A.; Wald, Kenneth D.; Wilcox, Clyde (2000-07-01). The Politics of Gay Rights. University of Chicago Press. pp. 71–. ISBN 9780226719986. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Transgender judge breaks barriers". Bay Area Reporter. November 11, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- New York Times: David W. Dunlap, "Clinton Names First Liaison To Gay and Lesbian Groups", June 14, 1995, accessed Dec 9, 2009
- "Victory Fund reports gay candidates elected across U.S.". PrideSource. November 6, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- New York Times: David W. Dunlap, "The 1994 Campaign: Homosexuality," Nov. 6, 1994, accessed Dec. 9, 2009. "Some 130 candidates nationwide requested financial help from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a political-action committee, said its executive director, William W. Waybourn. The fund has supported 27 candidates this year, he said, almost twice as many as in 1993."
- New York Times: Jeffrey Schmalz, "As Gay Marchers Gather, Mood Is Serious and Festive," April 25, 1993, accessed Dec. 9, 2009. "At a celebration lunch sponsored by the Victory Fund, half a dozen appointed and elected officials who had not previously been known to be gay made an appearance."