One year after the election of President Donald Trump, more women ran for public office than ever before—and went on to win bigly. Diverse politicians made history by taking over positions long held by old, white men on Tuesday.
It’s a satisfying feeling, knowing that this is the future that outraged people across the U.S. want—months of stress, representative calls, grassroots mobilization, and protests materializing into tangible results.
As the polls closed on Tuesday, Ravinder Bhalla was elected by Hoboken, New Jersey, to become the first turbaned Sikh mayor in the state. Charlotte, North Carolina, Mayor-elect Vi Lyles will be the first Black woman to serve in that position. Danica Roem, who is a transgender woman, will hold the District 13 seat for the Virginia House of Delegates—and while she’s not the first known trans woman elected to state legislature, she’s the country’s only out transgender state representative, and her campaign against a vicious incumbent opponent who repeatedly misgendered her has iconized her success.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, several other openly transgender Americans were voted into public office on Tuesday. Minneapolis elected Andrea Jenkins, who is a Black trans woman, to its city council, making her the first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office in the country. Lisa Middleton was elected to Palm Springs City Council, making her the first openly trans person elected to a non-judicial office in California. And through a successful write-in campaign electing him to the Erie School Board, Tyler Titus has become the first out transgender person elected to public office in Pennsylvania.
Aside from Roem, Virginia made a lot of historic firsts. Former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax was elected to state lieutenant governor, the second Black male politician to win statewide. The state also elected Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala to the House of Delegates, making them first two Latinx women in the House; Kathy Tran, a Vietnamese woman who has previously worked at the U.S. Department of Labor, also became the state House’s first Asian-American woman to be elected.
Other notable wins: In Montana, Wilmot Collins was elected as mayor of Helena, making him the state’s first Black mayor. Mazahir Salih is the first Sudanese-American to join the Iowa City Council. Joyce Craig, meanwhile, was elected to mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire, making her the city’s first woman in the position. Yvonne Spicer, a former appointed member of the inaugural Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council who is also a Black woman, became Framingham, Massachusetts’ first mayor, ever.
Congratulations to @EmergeMass alum @spicerformayor on her historic win tonight to be the first Framingham Mayor! We're so excited to see the difference you make leading your community. #EmergeNow pic.twitter.com/UByHXLytOS— Emerge (@EmergeAmerica) November 8, 2017
Whatever your politics, it’s a giant leap forward when it comes to fielding diverse officials who look like Americans.