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Story highlights

Two openly transgender candidates win their races

First Sikh mayor elected in New Jersey

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 is the first openly transgender candidate to be elected and serve in a state legislature.
Danica Roem
Danica Roem is the first openly transgender candidate to be elected and serve in a state legislature.

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.

Marshall had been at odds with LGBT issues and had proposed a state bill in 2015 that would allow anyone who 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.
Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP
Andrea Jenkins (center) posed for a selfie as she won the Minneapolis Ward 8: Council Member race in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

Andrea Jenkins won a seat in the Minneapolis City Council to represent the city’s 8th ward, the Star Tribune reported. She won more than 70% of the votes, the newspaper reported.

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.
From Twitter
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.

First lesbian mayor elected in Seattle

Seattle mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan smiles as she addresses supporters at an election night party Tuesday in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson/AP
Seattle mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan smiles as she addresses supporters at an election night party Tuesday in Seattle.

Jenny Durkan is projected to win the mayoral race, which would make her the first lesbian mayor in Seattle, reported the Seattle Times.

Durkan was born in Seattle and attended law school at the University of Washington. In 2009, she became the nation’s first openly gay US Attorney after being appointed by then-President Barack Obama.

The mayor’s race unexpectedly became wide open earlier this year after former Seattle mayor Ed Murray ended his re-election bid and resigned amid accusations of sexual abuse.

Provo’s first female mayor

Michelle Kaufusi will be the first woman on Provo's wall of mayors.
Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
Michelle Kaufusi will be the first woman on Provo's wall of mayors.

Michelle Kaufusi became the first woman elected mayor in the 157-year history of Provo, the third-largest city in Utah, on Tuesday night. She had 3,601 votes to Sherrie Hall Everett’s 2,695 votes, according to Utah County election results.

Kaufusi replaces John Curtis, Provo’s current mayor, who successfully ran for the US House seat that was left open when former congressman Jason Chaffetz resigned in June.

Kaufusi was born and raised in Provo, attended Brigham Young University and served as the president of the Provo City Board of Education, according to her campaign bio. She ran on a platform of leadership and fiscal responsibility.

Here are some more historical firsts from Election Day:

Vi Lyles became the first black woman to be elected mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Vi Lyles, Charlotte's Democratic mayor pro tem, listens to the applause of supporters with her granddaughter following her victory on Tuesday.
Jeff Siner/AP
Vi Lyles, Charlotte's Democratic mayor pro tem, listens to the applause of supporters with her granddaughter following her victory on Tuesday.

Kathy Tran became the first Asian-American woman to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Kathy Tran was elected to the Virgina House of Delegates on Tuesday.
From Twitter
Kathy Tran was elected to the Virgina House of Delegates on Tuesday.

Zachary DeWolf became Seattle’s first openly gay school board member.

Zachary DeWolf was elected to the Seattle School Board on Tuesday.
Electdewolf.com
Zachary DeWolf was elected to the Seattle School Board on Tuesday.

Melvin Carter III was elected St. Paul’s first mayor of color.

St. Paul mayoral candidate Melvin Carter III celebrates his win with family and friends on Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Jerry Holt/AP
St. Paul mayoral candidate Melvin Carter III celebrates his win with family and friends on Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

CNN’s Sophie Tatum and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.