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Current Events Yesterday's state and city election winners are cooler than you

Nov. 8, 2017
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Danica Roem made history yesterday when she was elected to Virginia's House of Delegates, unseating 13-term Republican state Delegate Bob Marshall by nearly nine percentage points. (Translation: it was a landslide.) To be clear, we're not referring to Roem's identity as a trans woman—although she is, indeed, the first openly transgender state legislator in the United States. No, we're talking about a different kind of history: I'm not 100% on this, granted, but I'm pretty sure Roem is the first-ever death metal rock star to become an elected state representative.

And Roem isn't the only victor who made history in yesterday's elections, which saw Democrats sweeping local and state races across the country. In Minneapolis, poet and performance artist Andrea Jenkins was elected to City Council after winning over 70% of the votes in her district in a race against three other candidates. This win makes her the first-ever openly transgender woman of color to hold public office in the U.S. And in California, Lisa Middleton's election to Palm Springs City Council made her the first transgender person in the state elected to non-judicial office.

But the historical results weren't limited to wins from LGBT+ candidates: Rhavi Bhalla was elected as mayor of Hoboken, making him the first turbaned Sikh mayor in New Jersey and one of the first in the country, and former Liberian refugee Wilmot Collins—who was elected as mayor of Helena, Montana—has become the first African-American mayor elected in the history of the state. The list goes on—taken together, the news is almost enough to wipe out the awful taste of November 8, 2016. (But just almost.)