The Democratic Party had a historic night as they won governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey, along with a number of key state legislative and mayoral elections. Among the many Democratic winners were candidates who made history.
Danica Roem became the first openly transgender state lawmaker in the country Tuesday as she defeated the Republican behind Virginia’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill” for his House of Delegates seat.
“No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship, who you love, how you identify or any other inherent identifier that you have, you should be celebrated because of who you are, not despite it,” Roem said on MSNBC.
Andrea Jenkins became the first transgender African-American woman elected to the city council in a major US city as she won her Minneapolis City Council election.
Justin Fairfax was elected to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, becoming the second African-American to win a statewide election in Virginia.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Fairfax said during at his victory party. “We are changing the course of history in this commonwealth.”
Sheila Oliver was elected the lieutenant governor of New Jersey, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. She was previously the first African-American woman to serve as the Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly and the second black female speaker in the entire country.
“This may not be the first glass ceiling I have broken, but it is certainly the highest,” Oliver said at the Democrats’ victory party. “And I hope somewhere in this great state of New Jersey, a young girl of color is watching tonight and realizing that she does not have a limit to how high she can go.”
Vi Lyles was elected as the first black female mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina.
“With this opportunity you’ve given me, you’ve proven that we are a city of opportunity and inclusiveness,” Lyles told her supporters. “You’ve proven that a woman whose father didn’t graduate from high school can become this city’s first female African-American mayor.”
Yvonne Spicer was elected to become the first ever mayor of Framingham, Massachusetts. The “largest town in America” recently voted to become a city and will now have a mayor and city council.
“This is a new beginning for Framingham. … I promise you as your mayor, I will make sure that everyone at Framingham has a seat at the table,” Spicer said Tuesday.
Joyce Craig was elected to become the first female mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire, the state’s largest city.
Tyler Titus was elected to the Erie School Board to become the first openly transgender person to ever win an election in the state of Pennsylvania.
Ravinder Bhalla was elected as mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey to become the first Sikh American to win a mayoral election in the country. Bhalla had been targeted by racist flyers that showed a photo of him along with the message “Don’t let terrorism take over our town!”
Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala both unseated Republican incumbents to become the first two Latina women to join the Virginia House of Delegates.
Wilmot Collins, who came to the US as a Liberian refugee over two decades ago, will be the next mayor of Helena, Montana, the first black mayor in the state.
“The country is still not what Mr. Trump wants it to be,” Collins told HuffPost. “The citizens of this state and this city where I have lived for the past 23 years have spoken and they are saying we want the best candidate. They’re not looking at color, at background and creed.”
Jenny Durkan will be Seattle’s first lesbian mayor and the city’s first female mayor since 1928.
“Ninety-two years later, Seattle’s about to have another woman mayor. How about that?” Durkan said at her victory party.
Melvin Carter will be the first African-American mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Kathy Tran, who came to the US as a Vietnamese refugee, will be the first Asian-American woman to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Janet Diaz was elected as the first Latina member of the city council in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Jonathan McCollar will become the first black mayor of Statesboro, Georgia.
Brendon Barber will become the first black mayor of Georgetown, South Carolina.
Mary Parham Copelan will be the first black woman to serve as mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia.
Booker Gainor will be the first black mayor of Cairo, Georgia.
Cathy Murillo is the first Latina elected mayor of Santa Barbara, California.
Laura Curra will be the first woman to serve as New York’s Nassau County executive.
Lisa Middleton is the first openly transgender person to win a non-judicial race in California as she won her race for Palm Springs city council.