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Record number LGBTQ candidates ran - many made history

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The 2018 midterm elections gave momentous victories to America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community reports Dominique Mosbergen for The Huffington Post.

A record number of LGBTQ candidatesran for office this year, and more than 240 ― an unprecedented number ― won their primaries. On Election Day, several of them made history, including the first openly gay man to be elected governor; New Hampshire’s first gay congressman; and a Native American lesbian who won a House seat in Kansas, becoming the first queer person to represent the state in Congress.

Here are some of the biggest LGBTQ wins from election night: 

·     Jared Polis from Colorado became the first gay man to be elected governor in the U.S. The five-term Democratic congressman and father of two defeated Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a second cousin of former President George W. Bush.

·     Sharice Davids is first LGBTQ person and Native American to represent Kansas in Congress. Democrat Davids bested GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, becoming the first Native American and the first LBGTQ person to represent the state in Congress. 

·     Chris Pappas became New Hampshire’s first openly gay member of Congress. Democrat Pappas edged out Republican Eddie Edwards in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. 

·    Lesbian Angie Craig defeated anti-LGBTQ congressman in Minnesota, and became the first openly gay person elected to Congress from the state. Angie Craig, a Lesbian Democrat, defeated an anti-LGBT Republican Congressman. Democrat Craig won Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, unseating GOP Rep. Jason Lewis. The victory makes Craig, who identifies as lesbian, the first openly gay person elected to Congress from the state. 

·   Two transgender women, Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker, were elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. According to the Los Angeles Blade, Cannon and Bunker will join Virginia state Del. Danica Roem as the only openly trans members of any U.S. state legislature.

·      Democrats Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard became the first LGBTQ members of the Kansas state legislature. Before this year Kansas had never had an LGBT member of the state legislature.

·     Zach Wahls, who defended his two lesbian moms before the Iowa House of Representatives in 2011, became a state lawmaker himself. He clinched 78% of the votein Iowa Senate District 37 on election night. 

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

·    Democrat Angie Craig won Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, unseating GOP Rep. Jason Lewis. The victory makes Craig, who identifies as lesbian, the first openly gay person elected to Congress from the state. 

This was the second time Lewis and Craig have battled for the suburban Twin Cities swing seat. Lewis ― who has compared gay people with “rapists” and has denounced same-sex marriage ― bested Craig by just 2 percentage points in 2016. 

·    In a major victory for the Massachusetts’ transgender community and allies, state residents voted to keep in place legislation that forbids discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

Question 3 on the ballot asked voters whether they wanted to keep an existing state law that shields transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, hospitals and gyms. A “yes” vote means people can use public facilities that match their gender identity.

“This victory is one for the history books,” advocacy group Freedom Massachusetts celebrated on Twitter.  

·    Democrat Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, the country’s first openly LGBTQ senator, was re-elected to the U.S. Senate.

·    Kate Brown, the Democratic governor of Oregon, held on to her seat. Brown, who identifies as bisexual, became the country’s first openly LGBTQ governorwhen she was first elected to the post in 2015.