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Sunday, December 4, 2022

These 2022 Candidates Made History With Their Election Wins

As the results from the midterm elections started poring in Tuesday night, a number of candidates made history. So far, there have been barriers broken by women including women of color, young people, and members of the LGBTQ community.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most high-profile wins. This list will continue to be updated as votes are counted and races are called.

First openly lesbian governor

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey won her bid for governor, according to the Associated Press. The win makes Healey the nation’s first openly lesbian candidate elected to the governor’s office, returning the seat to Democrats after eight years of Republican leadership. Healey may also be joined by Tina Kotek, Oregon’s Democratic candidate for governor, who is also openly lesbian and has led in most polls.
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“To every little girl and every little LGBTQ kid out there—I hope tonight shows that you can be whomever you want to be,” she said during her victory speech.

While on the campaign trail, Healey—who was elected eight years ago as the nation’s first openly gay attorney general—pledged to expand job training programs and make child care more affordable. She also promised to protect access to safe and legal abortion in Massachusetts.

First Gen Z member of Congress

Election 2022 Florida House
Stephen M. Dowell—Orlando Sentinel/APDemocratic candidate for Florida’s 10th Congressional District Maxwell Frost speaks as he celebrates with supporters during a victory party at The Abbey in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

Generation Z got its first seat in Congress as Maxwell Frost, a 25-year-old Democrat, won his election in Florida’s 10th Congressional District, according to the Associated Press. He could be joined by Karoline Leavitt, a 25-year-old Republican running in New Hampshire.

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Gen-Z, known as the post-millennial generation, refers to those born after around 1997. Candidates must be at least 25 years of age to run for a seat in the House, though it’s quite rare for candidates to win their election at such a young age. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Republican of North Carolina, was the last 25-year-old to be elected to the House in 2020, but it hadn’t happened in more than 45 years before that.

Read More: Live Updates From the 2022 Midterm Elections

“I think the biggest generational divide I see isn’t necessarily the issues—it’s the urgency of these things,” he told TIME in October. “How quickly do they get done?”

Frost, a progressive Democrat with a background in activism, focused his campaign on gun violence, climate change, abortion rights and Medicare for all—issues that largely resonate with younger voters. He previously worked with the student-led anti-gun-violence movement March for Our Lives.

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Frost will take over the Orlando-area seat from Democratic Rep. Val Demings, who is running for senator.

First states led by two women

At least two states elected women to the positions of governor and lieutenant governor on Tuesday, the first states to accomplish such a landmark.

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In Massachusetts, Maura Healey was elected governor and her running mate for lieutenant governor, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, also won, according to the Associated Press. And in Arkansas, Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders won the gubernatorial race, according to the Associated Press, becoming the first woman to hold the seat in the state’s history. As both of the candidates for lieutenant governor in Arkansas are women, Sanders’ victory ensures Arkansas will be led by two women as well.

First South Asian woman lieutenant governor

Rally for Democrats in Bowie, Maryland
Chris Kleponis—CNP/startraksphot/ReutersRally for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore and the Democratic Party at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland on Monday, November 7, 2022.

Aruna Miller was elected the nation’s first South Asian woman to be elected lieutenant governor, according to the Associated Press, making history in Maryland alongside Democrat Wes Moore, who was elected as the state’s first Black governor. Miller, an Indian-American civil engineer who was raised by her grandmother in India, came to the U.S. at the age of 7, soon after the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which lifted racial quotas and allowed her father to work in the country.

“I was a stranger in a strange world,” she told The Washington Post in October about her early years in the U.S.

Read More: Two Black Women Are Making Strong Bids for Senate. Some Say the Democratic Party Has Failed Them

Miller, who also became the first immigrant to hold statewide office in Maryland, went on to serve eight years as a state delegate and has campaigned on promoting STEM education among girls and people of color, expanding public transportation in underserved communities, and mental health treatment. Her running mate, Moore, is only the third Black governor elected since Reconstruction.

—WITH REPORTING BY JASMINE AGUILERA AND MINI RACKER

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