Photo Courtesy of the Regula Campaign Facebook
Lis Kenneth Regula, a Democrat from Kent running for Portage County auditor, is the first openly transgender candidate to run for elected office in Ohio. Regula is challenging Republican Janet Esposito, the six-term incumbent for the office position responsible for setting property values and keeping an eye on county government spending.
A biology professor at the University of Akron, Lis (pronounced "Lease") boasts a background in finances, statistics and data
, having founded his own business, his own non-profit and worked for NASA as a private contractor. Regula is also a first-generation college graduate, a homeowner and the father of a 12-year-old son.
“If anything can bring the Blue Wave we keep hearing about, it’s the millions of people across the U.S. that are all pushing in the same direction—forward,” Regula said to Prizm News
. He also said he’s hoping to get Kent State University students engaged in his and other progressive campaigns now that the fall semester has started.
On Tuesday, the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund
endorsed Regula with Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston now serving as president & CEO of the Victory Fund stating
in a press release, “Voters are choosing LGBTQ candidates in red states and blue states not because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but because they are authentic candidates with positive and inclusive agendas. A surge in LGBTQ political power come November is critical not just because the LGBTQ community needs us, but because America needs us.”
While there are a total of 11 LGBTQ+ candidates seeking office across Ohio in the Nov. 6 elections, Regula joins three other Victory Fund endorsed candidates.
- Nickie Antonio, an out lesbian and the first LGBTQ+ person elected to the Ohio House in 2010, is running to be the first LGBTQ+ Ohioan elected to the state Senate. She’s the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Ohio Senate District, which includes western neighborhoods of Cleveland, Lakewood and Parma.
- John McManus, an openly gay member of the Dayton school board who is running as a Democrat for the Ohio House in District 41, which includes the southeast corner of Dayton, Kettering, Oakwood and Centerville.
- Rick Neal, an openly gay Democrat who’s challenging anti-LGBTQ U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, which includes parts of Columbus, its western and southern suburbs, and areas from Athens to Wilmington.
The Victory Fund estimates more than 400 LGBTQ+ Americans will be on the ballot across the country this fall for local, state and federal offices.
For more information on candidate Regula, you can visit his campaign site here