These LGBTQ Candidates Won Big Last Night

The rainbow wave materialized and brought a number of firsts.

LGBTQ candidates won big last night, turning out a rainbow wave that contained a number of firsts. Here are just some of the candidates who made history during these midterm elections.

Sharice Davids

Sharice Davids
John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images

Sharice Davids defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder in the race for Kansas’ 3rd congressional district. She is the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Kansas, one of the first two Native American woman, along with Democrat Deb Haaland, of the Laguna Pueblo tribe who won in New Mexico, and the first lesbian Native American individual elected to Congress.

Jared Polis

jared polis
Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images

Jared Polis also made history last night, becoming the first openly gay governor in the nation after defeating Republican Walker Stapleton, in Colorado. Polis, a former businessman, previously made history as the first openly gay man to win a seat as a non-incumbent, when he was elected to Congress in 2008.

Tammy Baldwin

tammy baldwin
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In Wisconsin, Sen. Tammy Baldwin won her bid for re-election, fending off challenger Leak Vukmir, a member of the Wisconsin State Senate and a Trump supporter. She remains the only LGBTQ member of Senate, as we await results of the Arizona race, where Krysten Sinema is hoping to become the first openly bisexual member of the Senate. She is currently trailing her opponent in a race that remains too close to call.

Kate Brown

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown won her first full term in office last night. Brown, who identifies as bisexual, became the first openly LGBTQ governor in the country in 2015. She bested challenger Rep. Knute Buehler.

“This election shows that when our values are on the ballot, Oregonians will come together, and fight like hell to stand up for what we believe in. Tonight we can say we fought to keep Oregon a welcoming and inclusive place for all,” she said during her victory speech.

David Cicilline

david cicilline
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. David Cicilline won re-election in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, easily defeating Republican Patrick Donovan. Cicilline has held the seat since 2011, and previously served as the mayor of Providence. He serves as co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Chris Pappas

Businessman and community organizer Chris Pappas became the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from New Hampshire, winning his race against Eddie Edwards, the former Police Chief of South Hampton. Pappas is also a former state lawmaker, and currently sits on the Executive Council, which, along with the governor’s office, works to approve state contracts and nominations.

Malcolm Kenyatta

Malcolm Kenyatta has become the first African-American gay man elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania, winning the 181st District. He is the second openly gay person elected to the state’s House, joining Rep. Brian Sims, who represents the 182nd district, and who won re-election last night.

Kenyatta told News One his win was also “a victory for all those who believe we should raise wages, send our kids to fully funded schools, and keep seniors in their homes.”

Maura Healey

Maura Healy
Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey won her re-election bid, defeating Republican challenger James McMahon.

“I loved being your attorney general, I am so lucky I get to do this job and I am so happy I get to do it for four more years,” she told supports, Mass Live reports. She is the only openly LGBTQ attorney general in the country.

Angie Craig

Angie Craig
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Angie Craig became the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota, handily beating out incumbent Rep. Jason Lewis, who once complained he could no longer call women “sluts.”

“I’m honored, humbled and grateful for the opportunity to represent our district. I will never forget where I come from and who I work for,” Craig tweeted.

Susan Ruiz

Susan Ruiz won her election to represent District 13 in the Kansas House of Representatives. She is one of the first two openly LGBTQ members of the Kansas Legislature.

Brandon Woodard

Brandon Woodard is the other openly LGBTQ member elected to the Kansas Legislature, representing the 30th District. He has previously served the community as an organizer and advocate.

Julian Cyr

Massachusetts State Sen. Julian Cyr won re-election, defeating Republican opponent John Flores to secure a second term. Prior to winning his seat, he served as director of policy and regulatory affairs for environmental health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Gerri Cannon

Gerri Cannon became one of two transgender women elected to the New Hampshire House, after finishing second in the Stafford County District 18, with 21% of the vote, according to the Washington Blade.

Lisa Bunker

Lisa Bunker is the other transgender woman who made history by being elected to the New Hampshire House, representing District 18. Bunker and Cannon now join Virginia state Del. Danica Roem as the only openly trans members of a state legislature.

Journalist and news editor. Collage artist. Human. Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @jefftaylorhuman.