By Tim Fitzsimons

There are less than 600 known lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer elected officials in the U.S. — just 0.1 percent of all elected officials across the country — according to the Victory Institute, a nonprofit that trains and promotes LGBTQ political hopefuls.

But in this election cycle, a record number of LGBTQ Americans, who make up an estimated 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, are seeking office. Can these candidates help the LGBTQ community reach more proportionate representation?

Heading into the midterm elections, NBC News profiled a handful of the hundreds of out Americans running for office in an NBC Out special series titled "The 0.1 Percent." Here is a roundup of those profiles, along with some of our other coverage of LGBTQ Americans on the ballot this week.

Image: Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez
Lupe Valdez J. Scott Applewhite / AP file

Lupe Valdez says key to turning Texas blue is voter turnout

Most Americans see Texas as a deep-red state, but Lupe Valdez, the Democrat running to unseat Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, thinks they have it all wrong.

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Derek Kitchen and his husband Moudi Sbeity celebrate the United States Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country in Salt Lake City
Derek Kitchen, left, and his husband, Moudi SbeityJim Urquhart / Reuters file

Gay ex-Mormon Derek Kitchen looks to shake up Utah politics

Salt Lake City Council Member Derek Kitchen, who in 2012 sued to overturn Utah's gay marriage ban, is running for a seat in the Utah State Senate.

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Dan Innis, left, with his husband, Doug Palardy
Dan Innis, left, with his husband, Doug PalardyTim Fitzsimons / NBC News

Republican Dan Innis says he's changing GOP hearts and minds

New Hampshire's motto is 'Live Free or Die,' and Republican lawmaker Dan Innis says the state welcomes LGBTQ conservatives like himself.

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Image: Felicia Stewart, her wife, Christy, and her twin daughters Harper and Helen.
Felicia Stewart (top left), her wife, Christy, and her twin daughters.Courtesy of Felicia Stewart

'Hi, Felicia!': Married lesbian mom wants to turn deep-red Alabama blue

Businesswoman Felicia Stewart is working doggedly to unseat Republican incumbent David Faulkner in Alabama's wealthiest House district.

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Brian Sims
Brian SimsPA House of Representatives

‘Gayborhood’ lawmaker Brian Sims perfects the political counterpunch

With a “mouth like a truck driver,” Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims has taken an aggressive approach to his progressive agenda.

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Image: Sam Park
Sam ParkCourtesy of the Office of Sam Park

Sam Park looks to build a diverse coalition in Georgia

Sam Park is the first openly gay and first Asian-American man elected to Georgia’s state legislature.

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Christine Hallquist
Christine HallquistTim Fitzsimons / NBC News

Trans candidate Christine Hallquist looks to win Vermont’s rural vote

Christine Hallquist hopes a solid ground game and her rural economic development plan will help her become the country's first trans governor.

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Jared PolisHelen H. Richardson / The Denver Post/Getty Images

Rep. Jared Polis, millionaire entrepreneur, eyes Colorado governorship

If Polis, a Democrat, wins Colorado's gubernatorial race on Nov. 6, he will be the first openly gay person ever elected governor in the U.S.

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Sharice Davids
Sharice DavidsDanielle Hull Robinson / AP

Gay Native American wins Democratic primary in deep-red Kansas

Sharice Davids won the crowded Democratic primary in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, and now she has a chance to make political history.


ADDITIONAL COVERAGE

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Advocacy groups, political organizations go after the LGBTQ vote

While LGBTQ people are a relatively small portion of the electorate, these estimated 10 million eligible voters could prove critical in close races.

New Hampshire set to elect either first gay or first black congressman

Eddie Edwards, a black former police chief backed by the Trump administration, will face Chris Pappas, an establishment-backed Democrat, in November.

Six LGBTQ candidates running in Connecticut — as Republicans

The vast majority of LGBTQ candidates run as Democrats, but political hopefuls are bucking the trend in Connecticut this election cycle.

Rainbow wave or a ripple? Record # of LGBTQ candidates running

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer political hopefuls include four candidates for governor and 21 for Congress.

GOP official out after 'reservation' quip about 'lesbian Indian' Democrat

A Republican official in Kansas has resigned after GOP colleagues condemned his social media attack on Democratic Congressional candidate Sharice Davids.

Trump administration considering narrowing definition of gender

"I know folks are scared and hurt. So am I. We are working to stop this and we will never give up," Chase Strangio, an attorney with the ACLU, tweeted.

Democrats double down on Equality Act ahead of midterm elections

The bill would use federal civil rights law to ban LGBTQ discrimination, but backers say it will also block the Trump administration’s leaked transgender proposal.

Don’t vote for our ‘homophobic’ dad, Missouri candidate’s kids say

“I can’t imagine him being in any level of government,” said the daughter of Steve West, a Republican vying for a Missouri House seat.

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