Election night brings historic wins for minority and LGBT candidates

(CNN)In a night of many firsts, several minority and LGBT candidates won local elections that echoed the blue wave in which Democrats won races large and small.

Two openly transgender candidates won races as well as the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey and first African-American mayors in major cities.
First openly transgender state lawmaker elected in Virginia

Danica Roem defeated incumbent delegate Bob Marshall, who had been elected 13 times over 26 years, for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. When Roem takes office, she will be the first openly transgender candidate to be elected and serve in a state legislative body.

Althea Garrison, elected in Massachusetts, was the first openly transgender person to serve in a state legislature, but did not campaign as an openly transgender person during her race in 1992.

The race between Roem and Marshall to represent Virginia’s 13th district, which encompasses Prince William County and Manassas Park, had been rooted in ideological opposites.

First openly transgender state lawmaker elected in Virginia

Marshall had been at odds with LGBT issues and had proposed a state bill in 2015 that would allow anyonewho has a license with the state to refuse services to gay people and earlier this year introduced a bill to restrict transgender people’s access to public restrooms, CNN local affiliates reported.

During the campaign, Marshall refused to use Roem’s correct pronouns.
Roem was open about her gender identity and had backing from LGBT groups.
“To every person who has ever been singled out, who has ever been stigmatized, who has ever been the misfit, who’s ever been the kid in the corner, who’s ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own because there is no one else with them, this one is for you,” she told her supporters Tuesday night.

Prior to running for office, Roem worked as a journalist.

First openly transgender person of color elected to public office

Andrea Jenkins (center) posed for a selfie as she won the Minneapolis Ward 8: Council Member race in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

Jenkins had served as a senior policy aide to two Ward 8 city council members. She touted more than 25 years of public service experience as a policy aide, nonprofit executive director, consultant and employment specialist on her website. She also described herself as a poet, writer and performer.

First Sikh mayor elected in New Jersey

Ravinder Bhalla, the first Sikh mayor elected in New Jersey, was born and raised in the state.

Ravinder Bhalla, the first Sikh mayor elected in New Jersey, was born and raised in the state.
Hoboken voters chose Ravinder Bhalla, who became the first Sikh mayor to be elected in the state of New Jersey.

Bhalla, who had served in the Hoboken City Council for two terms was backed by the city’s mayor Dawn Zimmer, who decided not to seek another term.
“Thank you Hoboken. I look forward to being your Mayor!” Bhalla tweeted on Tuesday night.

Bhalla was born and raised in New Jersey. After finishing law school, he moved to Hoboken to work at a law firm. He won Tuesday in a six-person race for the mayor’s seat.

The race had become divisive recently as campaign fliers popped up with a picture of Bhalla in his turban that read “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town,” reported NJ.com.