State Watch

Georgia, Tennessee elect first known LGBTQ members to state legislatures

Georgia and Tennessee have elected the first known LGBT members to their state legislatures.

Kim Jackson (D), who is openly lesbian, was elected to represent the heavily Democratic District 41 in the Georgia state Senate, making her the first openly gay senator in the state.

“There has never been an openly LGBTQ State Senator in Georgia, and it shows by the bigoted bills they’ve passed,” the LGBTQ Victory Fund said on Twitter. “Our Spotlight Candidate Kim Jackson’s win tonight changes that.”

Jackson is an Episcopal priest and social justice advocate, according to The Advocate.

In Tennessee, Torrey Harris (D) became the first LGBTQ member of the state legislature, winning election to the state House. He will be representing District 90, which is heavily Democratic. 

According to the Commercial Appeal, Harris overwhelmingly knocked out incumbent John Deberry, with Harris winning 77 percent of the vote over Deberry’s 33 percent. 

Harris previously worked in human resources, and has served on the boards of a number of progressive groups, according to The Advocate, including the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Other LGBTQ candidates won elections to state legislatures. Stephanie Byers, for instance, became the first transgender person of color ever elected to a state legislature after winning a seat to the Kansas state House.

And Sarah McBride became the first out trans state senator in the U.S. after winning a seat in the Delaware State Senate.

Tags 2020 election Delaware Georgia Kansas LGBTQ state elections Tennessee
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