CONNECTICUT, USA — Erick Russell won the Democratic Primary Election for Connecticut state treasurer and is now on the track to becoming the first Black out LGBTQ person ever elected to statewide office in United States history.
Russell, an attorney who specializes in municipal finances, defeated Dita Bhargava and Karen DuBois-Walton in Tuesday's primary election.
"The Treasurer oversees tens of billions of dollars in investments. With that comes enormous responsibility, but it also presents an enormous opportunity for change," Russell said during a victory speech Tuesday night. "We might be a small state. But when it comes to investments, Connecticut can punch above its weight. We can ensure our dollars aren't going to corporations that deny climate change, ravage our communities with addiction or fraud, or fund extremist organizations."
There are currently just six out LGBTQ statewide officials in the U.S., and none are Black, according to LGBTQ Victory Institute’s Out for America Map, the only national database of out LGBTQ elected officials.
“Erick has the perfect combination of political chops, deep policy experience and grassroots support to make an effectual state executive. Voters are clearly eager to support his policy agenda to address racial and social wealth gaps and ensure all of Connecticut’s residents have a fair shot at the American Dream," said Mayor Annise Parker, president & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. "His success tonight is also a strong rebuke to the wave of racism and bigotry sweeping our nation. For far too long, people of color and the LGBTQ community have lacked equitable representation in government. While we have a long way to go to tackle these representation gaps, we are confident leaders like Erick will inspire many members of our community to answer the call to service and run for office.”
The New Haven native was the first person in his family to graduate college and law school in Connecticut. After graduating Russell began practicing as an attorney at a prestigious Connecticut law firm where he is a partner in the firm’s Public and Private Finance Group.
Russell has also been active within the community, serving the Democratic Party on the local, state, and national levels for the past 10 years. Russell also advocates for marginalized communities, and serves as a mentor, particularly to Black and LGBTQ+ youth
Jareliz Diaz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at email@example.com
Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HERE ARE MORE WAYS TO GET FOX61 NEWS
Download the FOX61 News APP
iTunes: Click here to download
Google Play: Click here to download
Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.
Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.