2020 election brought notable firsts for LGBTQ candidates
By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — As the country awaits answers on the 2020 presidential race, voters paved new paths for LGBTQ+ candidates who made historic firsts across all levels of American government.
Delaware elects 1st openly transgender state senator
Sarah McBride, 30, won a seat in the Delaware state Senate Tuesday night and made history as the first openly transgender state senator in the nation. When she is sworn in, McBride will become the nation’s highest-ranking openly transgender elected official.
“I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride tweeted after her win.
We did it. We won the general election.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) November 4, 2020
Tennessee General Assembly gains 2 openly LGBTQ politicians
Torrey Harris and Eddie Mannis, though on different sides of the political aisle, found common ground as they made history with wins to serve as the first openly LGBTQ politicians in the Tennessee State Legislature.
I won! I am Tennessee State Representative Torrey Harris with 78% of the votes! #Memphis #Elections #Democrat #JoeBiden #BlackLivesMatter #iMadeHistory4TimesTonight pic.twitter.com/S55EP1whvB
— Torrey Harris (@TorreyHarris901) November 4, 2020
Tennessee had been one of just five states that previously had never elected openly LGBTQ candidates as state representatives.
Harris, a Democrat, will represent Memphis, and Mannis, a Republican will represent Knoxville.
Vermont Legislature adds 1st openly transgender member
Taylor Small, 36, added her name to a list of notable LGBTQ victories on Tuesday, winning a seat in the Vermont House of Representatives.
5th trans legislator in the nation! @VictoryFund #vtpoli
— Taylor Small (@TaylorSmallVT) November 4, 2020
The progressive representative-elect for the district of Winooski and Burlington took to Twitter to celebrate the historic seat.
Georgia elects 1st openly LGBTQ state senator
Kim Jackson, an out lesbian, became Georgia’s first openly LGBTQ representitive in the state’s history.
Jackson’s victory also adds her name to a list of just three other openly LGBTQ+ Black female state senators in the U.S.
Georgia reelects 1st openly gay state representative
Sam Park, who became the first openly gay man elected to the Georgia State Legislature four years ago, was reelected in the 101st District.
Thank you GA House District 101 for your vote! I’m honored to have earned your trust and support.
I look forward to serving for two more years and continuing the fight to expand access to healthcare for all, lifting up working families, and protecting our Democracy. #gapol pic.twitter.com/USBMkXEqBL
— Sam Park (@SamforGeorgia) November 4, 2020
The Asian American LGBTQ+ Democrat is currently one of only two Asian American state representatives in the U.S., along with Evan Low of California.
New York elects 2 openly LGBTQ Black members of Congress
Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones, two openly gay, Black Democratic representatives, made history Tuesday night.
Torres, who won his House race for the 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx, became the first queer, Afro-Latinx elected official to serve in Congress.
Tonight, we made history.
It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential borough, the Bronx. pic.twitter.com/9ykMiWgYk3
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) November 4, 2020
Mondaire, who adds his name to a running list of first openly LGBTQ Black congresspeople from any state, said on Twitter Wednesday morning that he was humbled and grateful for “the community that just sent an openly gay, Black guy who grew up in Section 8 housing and on food stamps to Congress.”
I am humbled by the trust voters in Westchester and Rockland have placed in me, and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community that raised me — the community that just sent an openly gay, Black guy who grew up in Section 8 housing and on food stamps to Congress. https://t.co/O88nA5LN5q
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) November 4, 2020
Kansas elects 1st openly transgender lawmaker
Stephanie Byers, a retired Witchita teacher, won in Kansas on Tuesday, another notable victory for the LGBTQ community.
The newest state legislator is the first openly transgender lawmaker in the red state, which ABC News projected as a win for President Donald Trump.
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