During Tuesday’s midterm elections, Minnesota voters elected the state’s first transgender state lawmaker into office.
Democratic candidate Leigh Finke collected 15,635 votes, 81% of the votes cast in District 66A in the Minnesota House of Representatives. By contrast, Trace Johnson, Finke’s opponent, won 18.5% of the votes. The district has a population of just over 41,000 people and is located northeast of Minneapolis.
Finke will replace Alice Hausman (D), who was first elected to office in 1989, when sworn into office in January. Finke ran on abortion, improving mental health in schools, LGBTQ issues and economic opportunities.
On Wednesday morning, Finke turned to Twitter to address the victory, saying, “Many stories will be written about Minnesota’s elections. One undeniable story is the rise of Queer Political Power. 11 LGBTQ Candidates for the legislature: 11 victories. In those 11 victories are many firsts. Let’s. Make. Trouble. Onward!”
Finke quote tweeted a post from the Victory Fund, an organization that works to increase the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government, which said that all of the openly LGBTQ candidates in the state had won their races.
According to its website, Victory Fund has helped elect thousands of LGBTQ candidates into office since 1991.
“Leigh made history tonight because she is ready to disrupt the status quo and fight for real change on behalf of her community,” Mayor Annise Parker, the president and CEO of Victory Fund said. “From safeguarding abortion rights to addressing societal inequities, she has a vision for the future that voters are clearly enthusiastic about. Her win is a clear and deafening rebuke to the transphobia currently sweeping our communities and her success will inspire other trans people to step up and run.”