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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.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Wednesday said that repairs and security expenses related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already cost more than $30 million.

The state of play: Congressional appropriations committees have allocated the $30 million for repairs and perimeter fencing around the Capitol building through March 31, per NPR.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.