Closing The Gap

Kamala Harris, Cori Bush and others who made history in the 2020 election

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris responds to cheering supporters as she takes the stage for an early-voting event at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, Monday, October 19, 2020.
Joe Burbank | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Joe Biden is projected to win the U.S. presidential election, according to NBC News. With that, his vice presidential running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, has made history.

Harris, who was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, is the first woman, first Black American and first South Asian American to be vice president.

And, she isn't the only one making history in the election. This year, a record 298 women were candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, up from 234 in 2018. For the Senate, 20 women were candidates, down from 23 in 2018, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). Of the 298 women running for House seats, a record 115 identified as Black, Latina or Native American.

In addition to a record number of women running for office, the LGBTQ Victory Fund reports that more than 1,000 LGBTQ+ people ran for elected seats in 2020, the most in U.S. history. This means that in many states and cities, a historical barrier was broken with the election of a woman, person of color or LGBTQ+ individual.

In Delaware for example, Sarah McBride made history by being elected the first openly trans state senator in U.S. history. And in Missouri, Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush will become the state's first Black congresswoman.

"I am hopeful that tonight's result can send a potentially lifesaving message to a young trans kid," McBride told BuzzFeed News after her Nov. 3 win. "They can go to sleep knowing that their dreams and their truths are not mutually exclusive."

Take a look below to see how McBride, Bush and other candidates have made history in the 2020 election thus far.

U.S. Senate

Cynthia Lummis (R)- Wyoming

Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., participates in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority" on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Republican Cynthia Lummis has made history by being elected Wyoming's first female senator. Lummis, who was a delegate in the state's U.S. House of Representatives from 2009 to 2017, defeated Democrat Merav Ben-David for the seat.

U.S. House of Representatives

Cori Bush (D)- Missouri's 1st Congressional District

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush gives her victory speech at her campaign office on August 4, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. Bush, an activist backed by the progressive group Justice Democrats, defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) in Tuesday's primary election to become the first black woman elected to represent the state of Missouri in congress.
Michael B. Thomas | Getty Images News | Getty Images

In Missouri's 1st Congressional District, Democrat Cori Bush defeated Republican Anthony Rogers and Libertarian Alex Furman, which will make her the first Black woman to represent the state in Congress. Bush's victory comes two years after her unsuccessful 2018 attempt to unseat longtime Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., who has represented the district since 2001.

Ritchie Torres (D)- New York's 5th Congressional District

In this, March 19, 2018, file photo, New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres addresses a news conference in New York.
Richard Drew | AP

After winning the House race for New York's 5th Congressional District, Democrat Ritchie Torres has just become the first openly gay Afro Latino elected to Congress. Torres, 32, defeated Republican Patrick Delices for the seat.

Mondaire Jones (D)- New York's 17th Congressional District

Mondaire Jones, the Democratic candidate for New York's 17th Congressional District, poses outside his home in Nyack, New York, July 23, 2020. - Jones, 33, has won the Democratic primaries in his district. If he wins the November 3rd election as anticipated, he will become the first Black, openly gay representative in US Congress, together with Ritchie Torres from the Bronx.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY | AFP | Getty Images

In addition to Torres, 33-year-old Mondaire Jones also made history as the first openly gay Black candidate elected to Congress. Jones defeated Republican Maureen McArdle Schulman to represent New York's 17th Congressional District.

Marilyn Strickland (D)- Washington's 10th Congressional District

Marilyn Strickland, president and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce, speaks prior to Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announcing his run for the 2020 Presidency at A & R Solar on March 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.
Karen Ducey | Getty Images News | Getty Images

In Washington, Democrat Marilyn Strickland made history by becoming the first Black candidate elected to represent the state in Congress and the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress. She defeated Democrat Beth Doglio for the seat after they both advanced to the general election. Strickland, who was the first Black mayor of Tacoma, Washington will represent the state's 10th Congressional District.

Young Kim (R)- California's 39th Congressional District

Republican candidate for US Congress Young Kim, 55, poses for a portrait at her campaign office in Yorba Linda, California, October 6, 2018. - Kim, who immigrated to the US from her birth country of South Korea in 1975, would be the first Korean-American woman elected to the US House of Representatives if she defeats her Democratic opponent Gil Cisneros in the Midterm elections race for the open seat in California's 39th Congressional District which includes parts of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.
ROBYN BECK | AFP | Getty Images

Young Kim has made history alongside Marilyn Strickland and Michelle Steel as the first Korean-American women ever elected to Congress. Kim, who will represent California's 39th Congressional District, defeated incumbent Democrat Gil Cisneros for the seat.

Michelle Steel (R)- California's 48th Congressional District

Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel participates in a press conference in Santa Ana, CA announcing the Stigma Free OC campaign to promote mental health and suicide prevention services on Thursday, November 5, 2020. Steel is in a battle with Democratic incumbent Rep. Harley Rouda for the 48th congressional district.
MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

After defeating incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda, Republican Michelle Steel has made history with Young Kim and Marilyn Strickland as the first Korean-American women elected to Congress. Steel will represent California's 48th Congressional District.

Madison Cawthorn (R)- North Carolina's 11th Congressional District

In this screenshot from the RNC’s livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, North Carolina congressional nominee Madison Cawthorn addresses the virtual convention on August 26, 2020. The convention is being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic but will include speeches from various locations including Charlotte, North Carolina and Washington, DC.
Handout | Getty Images News | Getty Images

In North Carolina, 25-year-old Madison Cawthorn made history by becoming the youngest ever Republican elected to the House and will become the first Congress member born in the 1990s. Cawthorn defeated Democrat Moe Davis and will represent North Carolina's 11th Congressional District.

State Senate

Sarah McBride (D)- State Senator for Delaware's 1st District

Sarah McBride attends the "For They Know Not What They Do" - 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at Village East Cinema on April 25, 2019 in New York City.
Dia Dipasupil | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

After winning the state senate race in Delaware, Democrat Sarah McBride will become the first openly trans state senator in U.S. history. The 30-year-old LGBTQ activist is a former White House intern under the Obama administration and former national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, which is the largest LGBTQ advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the country.

Shevrin Jones (D)- State Senator for Florida's 35th District

Shevrin Jones attends South Florida Youth Summit #I AM Change Youth Symposium And college fair at Miami Carol City Senior High School on March 23, 2012 in Miami, Florida.
John Parra | WireImage | Getty Images

Democrat Shevrin Jones made history by becoming the first openly gay state senator elected in Florida. Jones, who represents Florida's 35th district, will be one of only two open LGBTQ Black men serving in state senate seats in the United States, alongside Jabari Brisport in New York.

Jabari Brisport (D)- State Senator for New York's 25th District

Jabari Brisport, newly-elected candidate for New York's 25th State Senate district.
Photo credit: Kevin Doherty

After running unopposed on Nov. 3, Jabari Brisport has made history by becoming the first openly queer person of color elected to join the New York Legislature. He will represent the state's senate for Brooklyn's 25th district.

Kim Jackson (D)- State Senator for Georgia's 41st District

In Georgia, Democrat Kim Jackson made history by being elected the state's first openly LGBTQ state senator. Jackson, who defeated Republican William Freeman, will represent Georgia's 41st district.

State House of Representatives

Taylor Small (D)- Vermont State Representative for 6-7 District

Taylor Small, Vermont's newly-elected representative for the Chittenden 6-7 district.
Photo credit: James Buck

Democrat Taylor Small made history in Vermont by winning the House seat for the Chittenden 6-7 district, to make her the first openly transgender member of the state's legislature. The 26-year-old, who currently serves as director of the health and wellness program at Pride Center of Vermont, tells Burlington Free Press that she hopes her election will show younger queer and trans people that they can be leaders too.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby (D)- Florida State Representative for District 70

Michele Rayner-Goolsby speaks onstage during BET "Finding Justice" Atlanta premiere at The Foundry At Puritan Mill on March 04, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Paras Griffin | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Democrat Michele Rayner-Goolsby made history by becoming the first openly queer Black woman elected to Florida's House of Representatives. Representing Florida's District 70, Rayner-Goolsby is also the first Black queer woman the state has ever elected at any level.

Mauree Turner (D)- Oklahoma State Representative for the 88th District

After winning the state House representative seat in Oklahoma's 88th District, 27-year-old Mauree Turner has just become the first Muslim elected to the state's legislature. The political newcomer beat Republican Kelly Barlean and centered her progressive platform on addressing criminal justice reform, affordable health care and higher minimum wage.

Stephanie Byers (D)- Kansas State Representative for District 86

Educator of the Year honoree Stephanie Byers attends the GLSEN 2018 Respect Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 21, 2018 in New York City.
Dia Dipasupil | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

In Kansas, Democrat Stephanie Byers made history by being elected the state's first transgender legislature member and the first Native American trans person to be elected to any state's legislature. Byers, who is a retired teacher, defeated Republican Cyndi Howerton for the seat, according to preliminary results.

Torrey Harris (D)- Tennessee State Representative for District 90

Democrat Torrey Harris made history in Tennessee by becoming one of the first openly LGBTQ legislators elected to the state's house, alongside Republican Eddie Mannis. Harris, 29, will take over District 90 from incumbent John Deberry who represented the district for 26 years.

Eddie Mannis (R)- Tennessee State Representative for District 18

Eddie Mannis is a newly-elected member of Tennessee's House of Representatives, representing the state's 18th district.
Photo credit: Robert Mannis Photography

Alongside Harris, Republican Eddie Mannis also made history in Tennessee by becoming one the first openly LGBTQ legislators elected to the state's house. Mannis defeated Democrat Virginia Couch to represent District 18.


Daniella Levine Cava (D)- Mayor of Miami-Dade County

Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava describes what she witnessed inside the Homestead Detention Center during a tour she took earlier in the morning on June 28, 2019 in Homestead, Fla.
Miami Herald | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Democrat Daniella Levine Cava made history by becoming the first female mayor elected in Miami-Dade County, Florida's most populous county. Levine Cava, a county commissioner, defeated Republican Esteban Bravo for the seat.

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