Leigh Finke has made history as the first openly transgender legislator elected to the Minnesota House after the 2022 midterm elections.
She beat her Republican opponent, Trace Johnson, by a vote of 81% to 18%, CBS News reported.
“In the last two years, we’ve been seeing just a marked increase in the coordinated attacks against trans people and trans communities in the United States and in Minnesota,” she explained.
“I just felt like it was absolutely essential to have someone from our community in those rooms.”
Winning the seat for District 66A after her first time as a candidate, Finke will now serve the Minnesota communities of St. Paul, Falcon Heights, Roseville, and Lauderdale.
The legislator celebrated her election on Twitter shortly after news of her victory was announced.
We did, and we are celebrating. pic.twitter.com/284EAAJMdT
— Leigh Finke🏳️⚧️ For Minnesota House (@leighfinke) November 9, 2022
“If we can accomplish getting more people elected who are trans and gender diverse, who are LGBTQ and people of colour, that’s the thing I’m most proud of,” Finke said.
“It doesn’t really matter whatever the specifics of any individual are. When you connect over the shared difficulties of living in the world, people can respond to that.”
Finke is one of 11 openly LGBTQ+ candidates to win election in Minnesota during this year’s midterms.
It comes after LGBTQ+ candidates appeared on the ballot in all 50 states for the first time ever.