Hundreds of openly lesbian, gay and bisexual candidates won election to public offices across America yesterday, including the nation’s first openly gay U.S. Senator, at least six openly gay members of the U.S. House, and seven who will make history as the first or only out lawmakers serving in their state legislatures.
“This wasn’t incremental progress. This was a breathtaking leap forward,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. ”Tammy Baldwin’s victory in the face of tens of millions of dollars in super PAC spending against her is a testament to the enormous power of people who believe in and fight for progress, fairness and equality. LGBT candidates and their allies this year showed we are willing to engage fully in the political process to win the freedom we deserve.”
Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s historic victory in the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin capped big wins in House races, including one for the seat she has held for seven terms. Mark Pocan was elected in Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District, becoming the first gay candidate who will follow an openly gay member of Congress.
In New York, Sean Patrick Maloney was elected in the 18th Congressional District. In California’s 41st Congressional District, Mark Takano became the first openly gay person of color to win election to the U.S. House. In Arizona, former state lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema was elected in the newly-drawn 9th Congressional District. She became the first openly bisexual member of Congress. U.S. Reps. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., won reelection to their seats.
Seven state legislatures gained their first or only openly LGBT state lawmakers this year, including North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida, which went from zero to two gay legislators. And in Oregon and Colorado, state legislative election results have positioned two out lawmakers to become House Speakers.