Civic News
Elections / LGBTQ / Municipal government

What Delaware’s historic 2020 election means for equity

Delaware's general election was a victory for LGBTQ rights, as Sarah McBride becomes the first transgender state senator — and she's not the only "first" in the roster of new state legislators.

Sarah McBride. (Courtesy photo)
Delaware made history on Nov. 3.

Yes, the Joe Biden/Donald Trump battle is one that will not soon be forgotten. But, as the votes continue to be tallied, that’s another story.

While Delaware seats in U.S. Congress, governor and other offices remained the same with the reelection of incumbents, the Delaware General Assembly welcomed several new Democrat lawmakers, most bringing something new to Legislative Hall in Dover. They also bring an increase in commitments to social equity, justice reform and the environment, including access to healthcare, education and economic opportunities for Delawareans.

Sarah McBride, our new state senator for District 1, made history as the first openly trans state senator. She joins four other new trans state legislators in victory across the country: Stephanie Byers of Kansas, Madeline Eden of Texas, Jessica Katzenmeyer of Wisconsin and Taylor Small of Vermont.

“Sarah’s overwhelming victory is a powerful testament to the growing influence of transgender leaders in our politics and gives hope to countless trans people looking toward a brighter future,” said Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a statement. “Throughout this election cycle, Donald Trump and other cynical politicians attempted to use trans people as a political weapon, believing they could gain popularity by stoking fear and hate. For Sarah to shatter a lavender ceiling in such a polarizing year is a powerful reminder that voters are increasingly rejecting the politics of bigotry in favor of candidates who stand for fairness and equality. Her victory will inspire more trans people to follow in her footsteps and run for public office.”

Sarah McBride speaks at National LGBTI Pride Month 2017. (Photo by Flickr user U.S. Customs and Border Protection, used under a Creative Commons license)

McBride is not the only LGBTQ candidate to win a seat in Dover. Eric Morrison, openly gay candidate for state representative in District 27, won his election, too, after making national news in September when his opponent in the primaries, conservative Democrat Earl Jaques, tried (and failed) to turn voters against him for performing in drag. Marie Pinkney, the new state senator of District 13, is Delaware’s first Black queer woman elected to the Assembly.

Madinah Wilson-Anton, the new state representative for District 26, is Delaware’s first practicing Muslim lawmaker whose platform includes reforming education funding and ending the school-to-prison pipeline, establishing a public healthcare option in the state, demilitarizing the police, establishing universal childcare and creating a Green New Deal for Delaware.

State Representative Sherae’a Moore, District 8, won her place in the General Assembly as the first Black woman representing a district below the Canal. Her priorities are education, public health and the environment.

Larry Lambert, newly elected in District 7, brings a passion for criminal justice reform, public safety, environmental justice, worker’s rights and education, including expanding the SEED Program and working toward free public college.

New State Senator Kyle Evans Gay of District 5 is an additional woman in the Assembly, and the only mother of small children in the state Senate. Education, healthcare, gun control, justice reform and the environment are some of her main priorities.

Finally, Spiros Mantzavinos, a member of Wilmington’s Greek American community, beat incumbent Republican Anthony Delcollo in District 7. Mantzavinos is focused on economic fairness, strengthening healthcare, preserving the environment and education, including strong vo-tech and union apprenticeship programs for students.

For more results, check of the Delaware 2020 General Election Report.

Series: Election 2020

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