Numerous historic firsts happened yesterday in the United States’ midterm elections, including the highly anticipated ‘rainbow wave’. But just how big was the wave?
According to reports tallying up the winners from yesterday, voters elected over 100 LGBTI people to public office. This is more than ever before, helped by the fact that more LGBTI people also ran for office than ever before.
GLAAD counted LGBTI people winning eight federal seats, 86 state office seats, and 34 seats at the local level, for a total of 128 wins.
Several of these wins were massive, such as Jared Polis becoming the first openly gay man elected governor. Another was Sharice Davids, becoming the first LGBTI Native American elected to Congress.
‘The new House of Representatives is a critical check against the Trump Administration’s continued abuse of power and a strong signal that acceptance and inclusion are core American values,’ said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.
With all the wins yesterday, Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives.
Some wins you may not have heard about
Several wins made national headlines. With over 100 victories, however, there are smaller wins worthy of attention too.
In California, for example, multiple LGBTI people made big impressions in their communities. Ahmad Zahra became the first openly LGBTI Muslim elected to public office. He won his seat in the Fullerton City Council’s 5th district.
— Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) November 7, 2018
Katie Hill, an openly bisexual woman running her first ever political campaign, defeated incumbent Republican Steve Knight in California’s 25th District.
Previously, experts considered the seat a Republican stronghold. Hillary Clinton, then, won the district in the 2016 presidential election, and Hill followed suit last night.
In New Hampshire, meanwhile, people elected two transgender women, Lisa Bunker and Geri Cannon, to the state House of Representatives.
Key West, Florida also elected their first lesbian mayor in Teri Johnson.
And could there be more on the way?
Several races still remain undecided, allowing for at least one more major LGBTI victory.
In Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema’s Senate race against Martha McSally is still too close to call. If Sinema ultimately defeats her Republican opponent, she will become the first openly bisexual person in the US Senate.
According to AZ Central, the race may not be decided for days. Even then, there could be a recount or legal challenges to the outcome.
With 99% of precincts reporting, McSally leads Sinema my less than a single percentage point — 49.3% to 48.4%.
Overall, there were many victories to celebrate in this year’s midterm elections.