Women candidates—especially women of color and queer women—made history on Tuesday night.
Don’t despair. Despite a complicated and difficult election night, we do have good news in America right now—and we intend to celebrate it.
While the results that trickled in on Tuesday night were painful for those of us who hoped America would live up to its promise of embracing true, representative democracy and rejecting blind nationalism, it was also a night with moments of triumph, with victories for women candidates, LGBTQ candidates, and people of color running for office up and down the ballot. Transgender women made unprecedented inroads in elected office. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and every other member of “the Squad” won reelection. Mauree Turner, a 27-year-old Black and queer woman, became Oklahoma’s first Muslim elected to state legislature. There were positive outcomes for women’s reproductive rights, for equal pay, and for criminal justice reform.
We need those wins, because no matter what happens in the presidential race (which is still too close in several states to call), the 2020 election has exposed the degree to which the rights of women and minorities are still in great danger. Tuesday night brought a win for 25-year-old North Carolina congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, a man described as a “Hitler enthusiast.” Congress will also welcome its first QAnon supporter, Marjorie Taylor Greene.
But the good news isn’t small, and it shouldn’t be dismissed. Let’s take a look at the many women and LGBTQ people who triumphed on Tuesday night, as well as some of the legislative victories that will affect women and marginalized groups.
Cori Bush—a nurse and activist who is also a single mother—became the first Black woman elected to Congress from the state of Missouri. In the primary she beat an incumbent who had been in office for 20 years, and she campaigned on promises to work toward the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and other major progressive causes.
Sarah McBride became the first trans state senator in U.S. history. Get to know her name—Delaware’s new state senator is only 30 years old and has spent a career as an activist for LGBTQ rights. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” she tweeted on Tuesday night.
Daniella Levine Cava
Daniella Levine Cava became the first woman mayor of Miami-Dade, beating her opponent, who had publicly supported Trump, by a significant margin. “Miami-Dade’s glass ceiling has been shattered,” she declared in her victory speech on Tuesday night.
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