Democrats not only won big in elections in across Virginia, New Jersey and other U.S. cities on Tuesday, but those victories also came on the year anniversary of the presidential election of 2016, which ushered in a Donald Trump White House and a period of uncertainty for marginalized communities.
Following months of speculation about the future of the left, Democrats swept 2017 elections with the help of voters, who mobilized to make sure key seats and positions were occupied by politicians concerned with policy and change, not bigotry and egotism.
For Black women, who voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016’s presidential election, the victories were also historic.
But there were other notable wins as well.
– Democrat Danica Roem unseated one of Virginia’s longest serving conservatives to become the first transgender person elected to a state legislature. Roem beat Republican Del. Bob Marshall, who sponsored a ‘bathroom bill’ which would have restricted the types of bathrooms transgender people can use. In her victory speech Roem thanked her supporters, “To every person who has ever been singled out, who has ever been stigmatized, who has ever been the misfit, who’s ever been the kid in the corner, who’s ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own because there is no one else with them, this one is for you.”
– Democrat Phil Murphy beat Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to replace the Gov. Chris Christie. Democrat Ralph Northam won the hotly contested Virginia governor’s race beating Republican candidate Ed Gillespie, who was endorsed by President Trump. President Trump attempted to distance himself from the candidate after the election.
– Bill de Blasio was easily re-elected as the mayor of New York City.
– Justin Fairfax was elected as Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, becoming the second Black person elected to statewide office since Doug Wilder in 1985.
– The city of Hoboken, NJ elected the state’s first Sikh mayor Ravinder Bhalla. Bhalla served two terms on the city council before running for mayor.
– In Seattle, Jenny Durkan was elected as the city’s first lesbian mayor. Seattle also elected Zachary DeWolf as the city’s first openly gay school board member.
– Melvin Carter III was elected as St. Paul, MN first Black mayor.
– Manchester, NH elected Joyce Craig as the city’s first female mayor.
– Tyler Titus became the first transgender person to be elected to the Erie School Board.
– Wilmot Collins arrived in the United States as a refugee from Liberia. Last night, he became the first Black mayor Helena, Montana.
– Mazahir Salih will become the first Sudanese-American to join the Iowa City Council.
Take a look at the women of color who made history in in Tuesday’s election:
Mary Parham Copelan