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(L) Lori Lightfoot. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images (R) Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The quick rise of Chicago mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, and Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 race, shows remarkable progress by gay and lesbian politicians, with their sexual orientation getting less play than other historic qualities.

Driving the news: Both Lightfoot and Buttigieg have talked comfortably about LGBT issues and their own same-sex marriages, AP's David Crary writes.

"The real news is not that openly gay candidates are successful, but that being openly gay has become irrelevant," said Richard Socarides, a former Clinton White House adviser on gay issues.

  • This continues progress from last year's midterms, when LGBTQ candidates scored a raft of wins, including two governorships and first-ever legislative seats in Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska.

Background: It was only in 1998 that Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin became the first openly gay person to gain a seat in the House of Representatives, the AP reports.

  • There are now eight LGBT members of the House, and two in the Senate — Baldwin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema, whose bisexuality never became an issue in her closely contested election campaign last year.
  • Lightfoot's victory on Tuesday, along with Satya Rhodes-Conway's win in Madison, Wisc., brings the number of LGBT mayors to 37, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
  • In Colorado, Jared Polis was inaugurated in January as the nation's first openly gay governor.

1 fun thing: Buttigieg's husband, Chasten, has amassed 182,000 Twitter followers with cheerful, wry commentary about their relationship and their dogs.

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Go deeper

9 mins ago - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.

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Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

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Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

14 hours ago - Economy & Business

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Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

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Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.