Story at a glance
- Sarah McBride won a state senate seat in Delaware, making her the highest-ranking transgender official in the U.S.
- All states except for Alabama saw LGBTQ+ candidates run for office in 2020.
Democrat Sarah McBride made history on Election Day by becoming the first openly transgender state senator to be elected in U.S. history following her win in Delaware on Tuesday night.
Politico reports that McBride, formerly the national press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign, will represent the 1st state Senate District from Delaware. She will now become the highest-ranking transgender official in the U.S.
We did it. We won the general election.— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) November 4, 2020
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
McBride was part of a surge of LGBTQ+ candidates running for office in the 2020 election cycle, with the LGBTQ Victory Fund counting 1,006 openly LGBTQ+ community members campaigning for office. This is a 41 percent increase in LGBTQ+ candidates from 2018, with the number of genderqueer or gender non-binary candidates jumping to 25 candidates in 2020 from six in 2018.
Other openly transgender U.S. state legislators include Virginia Delegate Danica Roem (D); Colorado Rep. Brianna Titone (D); and New Hampshire state Reps. Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon.
Across all 50 states, only Alabama remains as the single state with no known openly LGBTQ+ candidates in a 2020 race.
Texas, Florida and California saw the biggest number of LGBTQ+ community members run for office.
McBride campaigned on Democratic stances like affordable health care and criminal justice reform.
Prominent Delaware political figures expressed support for McBride during her campaign, including Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Sen. Chris Coons (D) and Rep. Lisa Rochester (D).
Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement of congratulations for McBride, relating it to a larger victory for LGBTQ+ representation in government.
“Tonight, Sarah made history not just for herself but for our entire community,” David said. “She gives a voice to the marginalized as a representative and an advocate. This victory, the first of what I expect to be many in her career, shows that any person can achieve their dream, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”