With the results of an unprecedented presidential race still looming, it can be easy to forget that the 2020 election also included smaller, more local races. For one thing, the progressive Democratic congresswomen known as "The Squad" each won re-election in their respective districts, proving the staying power of the progressive movement. Former nurse and Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush became the first Black woman to represent Missouri, and Sarah McBride beame the first trans state senator in U.S. history.
All in all, election night has been a shitshow — and at the time of publishing, it's still unclear whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump will be elected president — but there are still election results to be hopeful about.
Ahead, the most historic wins from the 2020 election.
Cori Bush became the first Black congresswoman in Missouri
Bush became the first Black congresswoman in Missouri, after defeating longtime incumbent Congressman William Lacy Clay earlier this year. The registered nurse and Black Lives Matter activist will represent the first congressional district, a district that includes Ferguson, where she led protests against the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Sarah McBride became the first trans senator in U.S. history
Sarah McBride won the Delaware State Senate race, becoming the first transgender state senator in United States history. The Democratic Senator-elect will become the highest-ranking transgender elected official in the U.S. after her swearing-in.
Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones became the first openly LGBTQ+ Black members of Congress
Torres won the House race for New York's 15th congressional district, making him the first openly queer Afro-Latino person elected to Congress. Torres, 32, will represent the South Bronx.
"Tonight, we made history," he tweeted on Tuesday night. "It is the honor of a lifetime to represent the essential borough, the Bronx."
Along with Torres, Mondaire Jones also became one of the first openly queer Black members of the U.S. Congress, after winning his election in New York's 17th district to represent Rockland County and parts of Westchester County.
Stephanie Byers became Kansas’s first trans legislator
Byers, a retired teacher from Wichita, became the first transgender Native American to be elected to the Kansas state House.
"We’ve made history here," Byers said on Tuesday evening. "We’ve done something in Kansas most people thought would never happen, and we did it with really no push-back, by just focusing on the issues."
Jabari Brisport became the first LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the New York State Legislature
Brisport, former public school math, and science teacher will represent New York’s 25th District.
"My first interaction with the NY State Senate was trying to get them to pass same sex marriage around 11 years ago, and when it didn't pass I really felt like I wasn't being seen as a person, I felt like I was a second class citizen," he said on Tuesday. "It's important to me that people like me, other queer people of color, feel like they're seen and feel like they're represented in NY politics."
Kim Jackson became Georgia’s first openly LGBTQ+ state senator
Jackson, an Episcopal priest and social justice advocate, won the election to represent Georgia's 41st district.
Torrey Harris and Eddie Mannis became the first LGBTQ+ legislators elected in Tennessee
Democrat Torrey Harris and Republican Eddie Mannis won their respective elections and became the first openly LGBTQ politicians to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Shevrin Jones and Michele Rayner-Goolsby became the first openly LGBTQ+ lawmakers in Florida
Jones became the first out LGBTQ+ person ever elected to the state senate in the 35th district, while Rayner-Goolsby became the first out LGBTQ+ Black woman elected to Florida’s House of Representatives after winning the 70th district in the state.
Taylor Small became the first openly trans member of the Vermont legislature
Small, 26, was elected Tuesday to the Vermont House of Representatives, where she will become the first openly transgender member of the state legislature.
Four states voted to legalize marijuana
New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona, all voted to legalize recreational marijuana, while Oregon became the first state to decriminalize small amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs.
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