The 2022 US midterm elections have brought a number of historic firsts, including the youngest ever lawmaker, the first transgender lawmaker, and the first openly gay governor of state.
The world is eagerly watching this year’s US midterm elections with the control of the U.S. House and Senate still up in the air. A set of close races will determine whether Democrats keep their slim majorities in the House and Senate or if Republicans will seize control of one or both chambers of the legislature.
Millions of Americans also cast their votes in races for governor, secretary of state, and other offices. The results of the US midterm elections so far point to a diverse selection of candidates for the first time in U.S. history.
First Gen Z member of Congress
Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old community organizer, has officially become the first Gen Z member elected to Congress after winning a House seat in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.
The average age of a House member is currently fifty-eight, and more than eighty percent of members are Gen X or baby boomers.
Frost’s victory at the US midterm elections was driven by an advocacy campaign for stronger gun control laws and support for progressive medical policies. He will be the first Afro-Cuban in Congress as well, adding to the diversity of a body that is still more than seventy percent white.
“We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future,” the African American tweeted.
Frost was previously the National Organizing Director for March for Our Lives, a student-led demonstration in support of gun control legislation. It took place in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018 with over 880 sibling events throughout the United States and around the world.
I am Congressman-Elect Maxwell Alejandro Frost and I will be the first member of Generation-Z in the United States Congress.
WE MADE HISTORY!!! Don’t count young people out. pic.twitter.com/Nd3vr5iPT0
— Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@MaxwellFrostFL) November 9, 2022
Trans man makes history at midterm elections
James Roesener has become the first trans man to win election to a state legislature in U.S. history, as reported by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBTQ public officials in the U.S.
Roesener won the race for New Hampshire’s 22nd state House District, Ward 8. The 26-year-old Democrat identifies as bisexual and lives in Concord, New Hampshire with his wife and cat.
He has previously stated that he has never been afraid to stand up for what he believes in.
“I believe that it is imperative that all individuals have the ability to thrive in New Hampshire,” he writes. “We need a leadership that is invested in defending the freedom of all people by taking away barriers to shelter, education, healthcare, voting, and other basic necessities for a quality life.”
— Management Impact Solutions Consulting, LP (@MiExecSearch) November 9, 2022
Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the current president & CEO of the Victory Fund, said in a statement that Roesener is prepared to enact legislation that will “deliver lasting results for his community” from protecting reproductive rights to investing in New Hampshire’s education and healthcare systems.
She praised him for “shattering a lavender ceiling and proving that America is ready for trans men leaders in our state legislatures.”
She also called his win a historic win for trans people “at a time of intensifying transphobia at all levels of government and society.”
“Trans people—and trans men in particular—remain severely underrepresented in government at every level, but we are confident his win will inspire many more trans people to run for office,” she added.
First openly gay person elected governor
Maura Healey is the first woman and openly gay person ever elected as governor of Massachusetts after winning this year’s US midterm elections.
Healey, the state’s attorney general, beat former Republican state representative Geoff Diehl. She was also one of two openly lesbian candidates who ran to be a governor in the U.S. alongside Democrat Tina Kotek, a candidate for governor in Oregon.
She said she was proud of her historic victory, telling supporters that it sent a message “to every little girl and every LGBTQ person out there, [that] you can be anything you want to be.”
Following her victory on Tuesday night, Healey addressed supporters at a downtown Boston hotel.
“To those who voted for me and to those who didn’t I want you to know that I’ll be a governor for everyone and I’ll work with anyone who’s up for making a difference in this state,” she said.
During the campaign, Healey pledged to expand job training programs, make child care more affordable, and modernize schools. Healey has also said she would protect “access to safe and legal abortion in Massachusetts.”
The 51-year-old has also publicly talked about her impressive accomplishments during her time as the state’s top law enforcement officer, such as her lawsuit against Exxon Mobil over whether the oil giant misled investors and the public about its knowledge of climate change. She also targeted OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family for allegedly deceiving patients and doctors about the risks of opioids.
We did it, Massachusetts. pic.twitter.com/7JgwKxEMw8
— Maura Healey (@maura_healey) November 9, 2022
Other historic wins
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: First female elected Arkansas governor
Former press secretary of U.S. President Donald Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is the first elected female governor of Arkansas. Sanders defeated Democratic candidate Chris Jones in her predominantly Republican home state. She received an early endorsement from Trump.
Her father, Mike Huckabee, was governor of the state from 1996 to 2007, which makes her the first daughter to serve as governor of a state her father once led.
I'm in —> https://t.co/8bmfl3ZPgp
Watch ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/khDPEk0orU
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) January 25, 2021
Wes Moore: First black governor of Maryland
Democrat Wes Moore was elected Maryland’s first black governor after defeating Republican Dan Cox. Moore is only the third black governor elected in the nation’s 246-year history following Virginia’s Douglas Wilder in 1989 and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts in 2006.
He is a combat veteran and the former CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations, the Robin Hood Foundation. Moore campaigned on creating equal opportunities for Maryland residents.
Maryland, you showed that if we stand divided, we cannot win—but if we stand united, we cannot lose.
— Wes Moore for Maryland Governor (@iamwesmoore) November 9, 2022
Katie Britt: Alabama’s first female senator
Republican Katie Britt won the seat held by Richard Shelby, her former boss who is retiring after thirty-five years in the Senate. Britt used to be Shelby’s chief of staff. She defeated Democrat Will Boyd and Libertarian John Sophocleus.
Britt has also become one of the Senate’s youngest members. Furthermore, she will be the first Republican woman to hold one of the state’s Senate seats.
I’m going to be a strong voice for parents and families in the U.S. Senate.
— Katie Britt for AL (@KatieBrittforAL) November 5, 2022