A democrat candidate in Delaware has become the first transgender person to be elected to the US Senate, making her the highest-ranking transgender lawmaker in the country.

Sarah McBride, a democrat candidate and LGBTQ activist standing in Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware will become the first openly transgender senator in the US. The state, which has not sided for a Republican candidate since 1988, was called early in favor of Biden.

McBride shared her victory on Twitter, stating “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too” adding “the real work begins tomorrow.” 

The 30-year-old will join a handful of openly transgender people in Congress but will be the first to join the upper house. When sworn in she will be the most senior transgender public official on Capitol Hill.

McBride ran on policies of making healthcare affordable, expanding paid leave, supporting schools and reforming the criminal justice system.

She previously interned in Barack Obama’s White House while studying at college, becoming the first openly transgender woman to work in the White House in any capacity.

McBride had also been awarded the Order of the First State by former Delaware Governor Jack Markell for her efforts in advancing equality.

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There was a record 574 LGBT+ candidates on the ballot for the 2020 election and it was estimated, as of early Wednesday morning, that at least 35 have won seats. Victors, apart from McBride, include Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres, who will become the first openly gay black and Afro-Latino members of Congress.

An exit poll conducted by Edison Research suggests that LGBT+ voters represented 7 per cent of the 2020 electorate, beating earlier estimates that around 4.5 per cent of adult Americans identified themselves with the rainbow community.

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