Ten candidates that made history Tuesday night
(The Hill) – Tuesday’s midterm results saw several historic firsts across the country.
A record number of Black candidates ran up and down the ballot and across party lines, strides in LGBTQ representation were made and gender barriers were broken.
Here are 10 candidates that broke glass ceilings in their races this year.
Army veteran and bestselling author Wes Moore (D) was elected Maryland’s first Black governor and becomes only the third Black person to be elected governor of a state. He defeated Donald Trump-backed conservative Dan Cox.
Moore rose to the top of his party’s primary back in July, when he beat out 10 other candidates. His campaign had the support of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, and the Democratic Governors Association had invested heavily in his campaign.
The former CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations, Moore’s win flips the governor’s mansion blue.
Moore will have Aruna Miller as his lieutenant governor. Born in India, Miller is the first Asian American and the first immigrant elected lieutenant governor of Maryland.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) broke two barriers Tuesday night: she was elected as the first female governor of Massachusetts and the nation’s first openly lesbian governor.
Healey beat Trump-backed former state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R), who had repeated Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Throughout the campaign, Healey maintained a lead over Diehl, who failed to secure the endorsement of outgoing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the Human Rights Campaign both commended Healey’s election Tuesday, with the HRC tweeting that the new governor will be “a role model for the entire LGBTQ+ community.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) was elected Arkansas governor, becoming the first woman to govern the state.
In a state where former President Trump remains popular, his former aide was favored to win the race over Democratic nominee Chris Jones and Libertarian nominee Ricky Dale Harrington.
Sanders broke fundraising records in the state when she launched her campaign last year and had maintained a double digit lead over Jones in polls leading up to Tuesday.
Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, becomes the highest profile figure from Trump’s administration to win their election.
Democratic nominee Maxwell Frost became the first Generation Z member in Congress Tuesday night.
Frost, only 25, won the seat vacated by Rep. Val Demings (D), who launched a Senate bid in Florida. He ran on a progressive policy and is expected to become a new member of “the Squad” – a group of progressive representatives of color.
In a victory tweet, Frost tweeted that “history was made” on Tuesday.
“We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future,” he tweeted. “I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to represent my home in the United States Congress.”
Democrat Becca Balint became the first woman and the first openly gay person to represent the state of Vermont in Congress. Vermont is the last state in the country to send a woman to Congress.
A former teacher, Balint defeated Republican Liam Madden, Libertarian Ericka Rudick and three independents for the seat vacated when Democrat Peter Welch decided to run for Senate.
In March, Balint spoke to The Hill’s Changing America, describing how she balances her identity with colleagues who seek to diminish her lived experiences as an openly gay leader with anti-LGBT legislation.
“I grew up with a really strong sense within my family that you cannot take democracy for granted,” Balint told Changing America. “I’m always encouraging my colleagues, whether it’s in the legislature or when I was a teacher, or even as a community member, that we have to show up and have hard conversations with people to make sure that hate doesn’t take hold; to make sure that we don’t have simplistic views of each other.”
Anna Paulina Luna
Republican Anna Paulina Luna successfully flipped Florida’s 13th Congressional District red on Tuesday.
Luna becomes Florida’s first Mexican American woman elected to Congress and secures a new seat for the Republicans in the House. She joins 12 Floridan Latino members of Congress: 10 of Cuban descent, one of Puerto Rican descent and one of Ecuadorian descent.
Luna defeated former president Barack Obama aide Eric Lynn in a tight race. She’d received endorsements from star conservatives including Trump, Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL) and Lauren Boebert (CO) and TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk.
New Hampshire Democrat James Roesner became the first transgender man elected to any state legislature. Roesener will represent New Hampshire State House District 22, Ward 8.
Roesener was one of a record-breaking number of transgender and nonbinary candidates running. Their candidacies came at a time when a spate of anti-LGBTQ measures were introduced across the country.
There are only eight out transgender state lawmakers in the country, according to Victory Fund, with just six out transgender men serving in elected office.
“Trans people – and trans men in particular – remain severely underrepresented in government at every level, but we are confident his win will inspire many more trans people to run for office,” Annise Parker, Victory Fund’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “At a time of intensifying transphobia at all levels of government and society, Roesener showed incredible courage throughout his historic campaign.”
Anthony Brown, a longtime political figure in Maryland, will be the state’s first Black attorney general.
Brown, who represented Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, previously served as the state’s lieutenant governor, in the state House and ran for governor in 2014.
Brown was the favorite in the election against far-right Republican Michael Peroutka. According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland hasn’t elected a Republican attorney general since 1919.
Brown said he would said expand the civil rights division, protect abortion rights and work to reduce gun violence.
At his victory speech in front of more than 2,000 people on Tuesday, Brown said it was a “privilege and responsibility” to be elected attorney general.
On Tuesday, Democrat Summer Lee became the first Black woman to serve Pennsylvania in Congress. She will represent Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District.
Her win comes after the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) political action committee, the United Democracy Project (UDP), sent a last minute investment to Lee’s Republican challenger Mike Doyle. The move sparked outrage from other progressives in Congress.
Lee received endorsements from progressives like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (Vermont). Lee will become the latest member of “the Squad” when she is sworn in.
Delia Ramirez will represent Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. She makes history as the first Latina elected to Congress from a Midwestern state.
Ramirez, the daughter of immigrants, has spent much of her professional career in public service leadership positions.
Her win comes after 2020 redistricting saw the district become overwhelmingly Hispanic. She defeated Republican Justin Burau.
“We just made history tonight,” Ramirez said Tuesday before a crowd of supporters. “We broke a glass ceiling.”