These are the historic ‘firsts’ from the 2020 election you may have missed
Americans are awaiting the results of the 2020 U.S. election with bated breath—and if those votes swing in favor of Vice President Joe Biden, they would come with a historic first: Kamala Harris’s role as the first woman and first person of color to serve as vice president.
In the meantime, candidates across the country are earning “firsts” of their own in down-ballot races. These are some of the most notable achievements of this historic election.
Democrat Mauree Turner, 27, ran for the Oklahoma state legislature. Turner won the seat—making them the first openly nonbinary state lawmaker in the country. Turner will also be the first practicing Muslim elected to the Oklahoma state legislature.
Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones
Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones broke a barrier simultaneously: The pair will be the first openly gay Black men to serve in Congress. Both politicians are Democrats who will represent New York House districts. Torres’s election comes with another milestone: He will be the first Afro-Latino member of Congress.
After defeating incumbent Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, a 2018 “blue wave” winner, Yvette Herrell will be the first Native American Republican woman to serve in Congress. Herrell will also be part of a historic New Mexico delegation: All three of the state’s congressional representatives will be women of color.
Michele Rayner-Goolsby (D) is headed to Florida’s House of Representatives, where she will be the first queer Black woman to serve in the legislature.
Shevrin Jones joined Rayner-Goolsby in making Florida history. The Democratic candidate won his race for state senate and will be the body’s first openly LGBTQ lawmaker.
Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush (D) won her race in a Missouri congressional district—making her the state’s first Black female representative and the first Black Lives Matter activist to serve in Congress.
Nancy Mace will be the first Republican woman to represent South Carolina in Congress. Mace is only be the second woman, Republican or Democrat, elected to serve a full congressional term in the state.
Sarah McBride will be the country’s highest-ranking transgender lawmaker and, after the Democrat won her Delaware race, she will be the first trans state senator in the country.
Democrat Kim Jackson’s victory in Georgia makes her the first openly LGBTQ member of Georgia’s state senate.
Republican Cynthia Lummis won her election in Wyoming and will be the first woman to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. (She’ll also be the first senator who owns Bitcoin.)
In Vermont, 26-year-old Taylor Small (D) came in second in a race for a two-seat district—sending her to the state’s House of Representatives. Small will be Vermont’s first openly transgender member of its state legislature.
Former high school band teacher Stephanie Byers ran for the Kansas House of Representatives. The Democrat’s win makes her the state’s first openly trans lawmaker—along with a few other firsts. Byers is likely the first Native American trans lawmaker and the first trans state legislator of color in the United States.
Daniella Levine Cava
In a close mayoral race, Daniella Levine Cava (D) emerged victorious. She will be the first woman to serve as mayor of Miami-Dade County.