Top 10 Nationwide LGBTQ Victories in the Midterm Elections

With the dust settling on yesterday’s midterm election results, it seems there is hope on the horizon for LGBTQ+ representation nationwide.

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Not only did a record number of LGBTQ candidates run for various offices and win primaries nationwide, but several made history as of last night by winning. Here are the top 10 victories in the Rainbow Wave at the midterms.

1. Jared Polis from Colorado becomes the first openly gay man to be elected governor

Polis is a five-term Democratic congressman and father of two. He beat Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton last night.

“Tonight, Colorado rejected the Trump-Pence administration’s politics of bigotry and fear by choosing bold pro-equality champion Jared Polis, the nation’s first openly gay man elected governor,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said in a statement. “For nearly a decade in Congress, Polis fought to advance fairness and equality in Colorado and across America. 

2. Sharice Davids is the first queer Native American to represent Kansas

Democrat Davids beat Republican Kevin Yoder in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, making her the first Native American and the first LBGTQ+ person to represent the state in Congress. 


3. New Hampshire elected Chris Pappas as the first openly gay member of Congress

Democrat Chris Pappas bested Republican Eddie Edwards in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. A former state lawmaker, Pappas will be succeeding retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. 


4. Lesbian Angie Craig bested anti-LGBTQ congressman in Minnesota

Not only is Craig the first openly gay person and lesbian elected to Congress from Minnesota, but she also defeated anti-LGBTQ+ GOP Rep. Jason Lewis.


5. New Hampshire elected two transgender women to the House of Representatives

Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon won seats in New Hampshire’s Rockingham 18 and Strafford 18, respectively. This makes them the only openly trans members of any U.S. state legislature.


6. Democrats Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard became the first queer members of Kansas state legislature.

Queer-identifying State representatives Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard will represent Kansas’ 23rd and 30th Districts respectively.


7. LGBTQ+ community defender/ally Zach Wahls became a state lawmaker

Democrat Zach Wahls won the Iowa Senate District 37. He first made headlines in 2011 for defending his two moms and gay marriage before the Iowa House of Representatives.


8. Pennsylvania elected Malcolm Kenyatta as the first LGBTQ black man elected to state legislature.

A 27-year-old former Democratic National Convention delegate, Malcolm Kenyatta won the state representative seat in Pennsylvania’s 181st District.


9. Teri Johnston elected mayor of Key West, Florida, becoming the state’s first lesbian mayor.

Teri Johnston was elected mayor of Key West. A former city commissioner, she is the first openly lesbian mayor in Florida’s history.


10. Massachusetts voters uphold transgender rights protections

Last but not least, Pop. 3 on the ballot asked voters whether they wanted to keep an existing state law that shields transgender people from discrimination in public places. The majority  “yes” vote means people could use public facilities that match their gender identity.