Democrat Maura Healey is the projected winner of Massachusetts’ gubernatorial race, defeating Republican Geoff Diehl and making history as the first out lesbian to be elected governor, NBC News projected.
Healey is the state’s attorney general, and Diehl is a former state representative who co-chaired former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in Massachusetts.
Healey’s win was a long-awaited victory for LGBTQ advocates who have been trying to elect a lesbian to the highest office in state government for decades.
Annise Parker, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which helps queer candidates get elected to public office, said Healey’s historic win will help send a message that “LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public leaders.”
“We are confident that under Maura’s leadership, Massachusetts will reach new heights as one of the most inclusive states in the country,” Parker said in a statement.
Healey will follow two other out LGBTQ Democrats who have been elected to lead their states: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who is bisexual, became the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected governor in 2015, and Colorado Gov.
Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in 2018. (Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey was not out when he was elected to office in 2001; he came out as gay in his 2004 resignation speech.)
One other LGBTQ Democrat, out lesbian Tina Kotek, could join Healey in her history-making feat. Kotek is in a competitive three-way gubernatorial race in Oregon. (SOURCE)