This election saw more women, transgenders and people of color winning elections.
One year after a shocking presidential election result, Americans headed to the polling stations again on Nov. 7, 2017, this time to vote in crucial local elections.
In elections across the country, LGBTQ people, African Americans, Asian Americans, refugees, and Latina women running as Democrats trounced their Republican opponents. Virginia led the country in terms of the number of elections won overall by women, transgenders and people of color.
Justin Fairfax defeated his Republican opponent Jill Vogle, becoming only the second African American to win a statewide race in Virginia’s history.
Danica Roem won in the race for Virginia state delegate, making her the U.S.’ first openly transgender state legislator in history. Tuesday, when asked about Marshall, Roem said: “I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”
Andrea Jenkins from Minneapolis is now the first openly trans woman of color elected to the city council of a major U.S. city. Jenkins made history when Minneapolis voters elected her to the city council
“As an African American trans-identified woman, I know firsthand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus,” she said in her victory speech. “Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table, we want to set the table.”
Vi Lyles became the first black woman elected mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, defeating incumbent Republican Kenny Smith.
Booker Gainor, 27, became the first black mayor in Cairo, GA. He is among seven African Americans who were elected the first black mayor in their respective cities. “It feels amazing,” he said of his win. “I don’t even know how to describe it.”
After serving as a councilwoman for 6 years, Cathy Murillo became the first Latina to become the Mayor of Santa Barbara, CA.
In the week leading up to the Hoboken, New Jersey mayoral election, racist flyers calling Ravi Bhalla a terrorist were distributed across the city. Despite the ugly attack on his identity, Bhalla was elected mayor of Hoboken, becoming the New Jersey city’s first-ever Sikh mayor.
One of the most dramatic back stories involves Jennifer Carroll Foy, a 36-year old public defender from Woodbridge, VA. Three weeks after she launched her campaign, she found out she was pregnant with twins. The babies were born prematurely, and her husband had to take off work to campaign for her. She won her bid for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates “I don’t question blessings,” she said. “I take things as they come.”
Sources: Bustle, Washington Post