Months before the general election, voters endorsed two openly gay candidates to elected office.

In Portland, Oregon, the mayoral election was decided in May, when openly gay Sam Adams won a mail-only primary over several opponents. There will be no general election for Adams because he secured the majority vote (59%).

Adams will become Portland's first openly gay mayor on January 1st, and the first to run one of the 30 largest cities in the United States.

A first-term city commissioner, Adams was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a group committed to increasing the number of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender elected officials at all levels of government.

In his victory speech, Adams said he was shocked by the results.

But the Democrat is no novice to politics; he served eleven years as Chief of Staff to former mayor Vera Katz.

“In Oregon, fairness has won the day,” said Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe. “[The election of Sam Adams as mayor] means that people who are openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can also be seen as capable, committed leaders whose sexual orientation or gender identity is less important than what they plan to do for their communities. That's a step towards equality we want to replicate across America.”

In Portland, being gay appeared to be a non-issue in local media coverage of the mayoral race. The same was true for Jared Polis, who appears likely to become the first openly gay representative elected to Congress.

Colorado businessman Jared Polis won Colorado's 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary race in August. Because his district is a Democratic stronghold, Polis will make history as the first openly gay man elected to the House.  (Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank confirmed he's gay while serving his second term.)

“The chances of a Republican winning in this district are zero,” Bob Loevy, a professor of political science at Colorado College, told Time.

Polis, who has served for six years on the Colorado State Board of Education, is no stranger to politics, but he's better known for his philanthropic giving. He founded schools both for the homeless and for immigrants with the millions he accumulated from Internet companies and

Polis, 33, has vowed to be a vocal champion of gay & lesbian issues. On his website ( he addresses America's most pressing gay and lesbian inequalities, such as workplace discrimination, marriage rights, and the military's ban on gay and lesbians serving openly.

“To strengthen our national defense, we must cease the removal of capable and courageous members of our military based exclusively on their openness about their sexual orientation,” Polis said.

If a gay Congressman from Colorado strikes you as odd, it should. It certainly would have been unimaginable 15 years ago when voters in the state passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting laws to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional in 1997.

While Polis faced a tough three-way primary race against challengers Joan Fitz-Gerald and Will Shafroth, neither raised the issue of Polis being gay during the campaign.

“Sexual orientation shouldn't be a barrier to participate in the public sphere,” Polis told Time. “It's a difficult issue for my opponents to try to use against me overtly without a backlash, but there have been some jabs, insinuations and whisper campaigns.”

That did not keep Polis from campaigning at Gay Pride festivals or including his longtime partner, writer Marlon Reis, in his campaign.

Voters may have settled on Polis and Adams to make history, but another 100 Victory Fund endorsed, openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender candidates for elected office will be anxiously waiting their fate next week as voters head to the polls. Learn more about each at