The number of openly gay governors in
the United States went from one to three following Tuesday's midterm
Jared Polis, a Democrat, defeated
Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl to win re-election in Colorado.
Governor Jared Polis marries longtime partner Marlon Reis.)
Voters in Massachusetts and Oregon made
history by electing two openly gay Democrats to lead their states.
Maura Healey won the race for
Massachusetts governor, defeating Geoff Diehl, a former state
representative. Former President Donald Trump had endorsed Diehl's
Healey served as Massachusetts attorney
general since 2015. She is also the first woman elected to the office
and the state's first Democrat since Governor Deval Patrick left
office in 2014.
Speaking to supporters on Tuesday,
Healey talked about the historic nature of her victory.
“Tonight, I want to say something to
every little girl, and every young LGBTQ person out there,” she
said. “I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever
you want to be. I stand before you tonight, proud to be the first
woman and the first gay person ever elected Governor of
In Oregon, Tina Kotek defeated
Republican Christine Drazan to become the state's first openly gay
governor. Kotek previously made history as the first out lesbian
speaker of any state House in the nation.
Kotek succeeds Democratic Governor Kate
Brown, who is bisexual.
A Republican has not held the state's
highest office since 1987. But this year's election was the tightest
in years and the most expensive ever with a combined $68.9 million
raised by candidates, according to state data.
Annise Parker, president and CEO of the
LGBTQ Victory Fund, which works to elect openly LGBTQ candidates,
described Kotek's win as inspirational for the LGBTQ community.
“With anti-LGBTQ attacks sweeping the
country, her election will also surely inspire many other LGBTQ
leaders to run for office,” Parker said.
The Victory Fund announced on Wednesday
that a record number of LGBTQ candidates had won on Tuesday. The
group said that at least 340 LGBTQ candidates running in the midterms
have won their elections, surpassing the previous record of 336 set
in 2020. “To reach equitable representation, the U.S. must elect
over 35,000 more out LGBTQ people to office,” the group said.