Updated November 11, 2022 at 3:20 p.m. ET to reflect the results in Oregon’s governor’s race.
Tuesday’s midterm elections delivered a number of historic firsts, including the first out lesbian elected governor in the U.S.
Maura Healey (one of GO’s 100 Women We Love 2022!), the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts, prevailed over opponent Geoff Diehl to become the first woman, and the first openly gay person, elected governor of the state. She is also one of the first out lesbians to be elected to a governor’s office in the country.
“Tonight, I want to say something to every little girl and every young LGBTQ person,” Healey told supporters in a speech following Tuesday night’s win. “I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever you want to be. And nothing but your own imagination should ever get in the way. I want you to know that tonight, we made history!”
She and running mate Kim Driscoll, who was elected Lieutenant Governor, are one of the first all-woman teams elected to the state-level executive position.
Joining Healey in her historic achievement is Tina Kotek, who will be the next Governor of Oregon. Kotek (D), an out lesbian, defeated Christina Drazan (R) and Betsy Johnson (Unaffiliated) in a three-way race that the AP called Thursday night.
In other historic firsts, Democrat Kathy Hochul held off Republican challenger Lee Zeldin to become the first woman elected Governor of New York. Hochul became the first woman to hold the office after Andrew Cuomo stepped down following allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior in August 2021.
Democrats also won the governor’s race in Maryland, where Wes Moore became the first Black person elected to the state’s executive office. Politico reports that he is one of only three Black individuals elected to a governor’s office in the nation’s history.
Tuesday’s results heralded additional firsts for LGBTQ+ candidates. Becca Balint of Vermont won her bid for a seat in the U.S. Congress, making her the first woman, and the first out LGBTQ+ individual, to represent the state in the chamber. Democrat James Roesener of New Hampshire became the first out transgender man elected to a state legislature, and Robert Garcia (D-California) became the first out LGBTQ+ immigrant elected to Congress, Axios reports.
In other notable races, Dana Nessel was reelected Attorney General in Michigan. When first elected to office in 2019, she became only the second out lesbian to serve as a state’s Attorney General (the first was Healey in Massachusetts).
Angie Craig, the first out LGBTQ+ person to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Congress, won a third term Tuesday night.