Updated Nov 8, 2023 - Politics & Policy

The candidates, especially women, who made history on Election Day

Philadelphia Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker will be the city's first female leader. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Communities across the U.S. saw history-making electoral wins on Tuesday.

Driving the news: While most 2023 elections were at the state and local level, former Biden White House aide Gabe Amo is set to become Rhode Island's first Black member of Congress after a special election, the AP reports.

Women make history in mayor's races

In Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker became the first woman elected mayor, Axios Philadelphia reports.

  • Des Moines, Iowa, also elected its first woman mayor, Connie Boesen, per Axios Des Moines.
  • Minneapolis suburb St. Louis Park elected the state's first Somali American mayor — Nadia Mohamed, Axios Twin Cities reports. Mohamed is believed to be the first Somali American elected mayor of any U.S. city, per the Star Tribune. She will also be the city's first Black and Muslim mayor.
  • Lauren Simpson became the first elected women mayor in Arvada, Colorado history, the Arvada Press reports.
  • Deborah Whitfield will become the first Black mayor in Marion County, Ind., after Lawrence voters elected her Tuesday, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports.
  • Voters in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., also elected their first Black mayor — Yvonne Flowers — per the Times Union.
  • In Golden Valley, Minn., Roslyn Harmon declared victory as the city's first Black mayor as well, the Sahan Journal reports.
  • Lily Wu will become Wichita, Kansas' first Asian-American mayor, per KCUR.

State-level firsts

In Virginia's state legislative races, State Delegate Danica Roem won her race to become Virginia's first transgender state Senator and the second-ever in the country, per the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund.

  • Democrats' new majority in the state House also means Minority Leader Don Scott is likely to become the first Black House speaker in Virginia history, according to Axios Richmond.

More municipal milestones

At the city and county level, initial results in St. Paul, Minn., showed women candidates winning or leading in all city council seats. If they prevail, the capital city would have its first-ever all-women council, Axios Twin Cities reports.

  • San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery-Steppe was elected the first Black woman to serve on the county board, per Axios San Diego.
  • Bronx City Councilmember-elect Kristy Marmorato became the first Republican elected to public office in the borough since 2004, the Bronx Times reports.

Plus: Mecklenburg County, N.C., passed the largest school bond referendum in state history at $2.5 billion, Axios Charlotte reports.

Go deeper: Abortion rights win big in 2023 off-year elections

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the news of Lily Wu and Lauren Simpson's historic wins.

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