US Election newcomers: From first trans senator to QAnon follower

Brianne Tolj
·4-min read

As the race for the US presidency closes in, numerous new faces have been elected into office in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Cori Bush, a formerly homeless, working-class activist, was elected on Tuesday (local time) to the US House to represent Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.

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Bush, who is known as a fierce Black Lives Matter activist in Ferguson, pulled a stunning political upset in August by ousting 20-year Republican William Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary.

She will be the first Black woman to serve in the US House from her state.

Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush speaks during her election night watch party event on November 3. Source: Getty
Cori Bush, a formerly homeless, working-class activist, was elected on Tuesday to the US House to represent Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. Source: Getty Images

In Delaware, transgender activist and Democrat Sarah McBride won a state Senate race.

Earlier, McBride defeated Republican Steve Washington to win the seat after it became open following the retirement of the longest-serving legislator in the state’s history.

She joins several other transgender legislators around the country, but will be the first transgender state senator.

“I think tonight’s results demonstrate what I’ve known my entire life, which is that the residents of this district are fair-minded, and they’re looking at candidates’ ideas and not their identity,” McBride said after being elected.

McBride is one of several members of the LGBTQ community who were elected to the state legislature on Tuesday.

Sarah McBride smiles as she looks at a computer screen. Source: AP
In Delaware, transgender activist and Democrat Sarah McBride won a state Senate race. Source: AP

Social worker and political newcomer Marie Pinkney also was elected to the state Senate after knocking off the Senate president pro tempore, who was first elected to the General Assembly in 1978, in a September Democratic primary.

Pinkney identifies as queer and is the first openly queer woman elected to the legislature.

First openly gay black men elected to Congress

Similarly, Democrat Eric Morrison became the first openly gay man elected to the General Assembly on Tuesday after defeating an incumbent House member in the September primary.

The first two openly gay black men have also been elected to Congress.

Richie Torres and Mondaire Jones, both Democrats, will represent New York.

“When I was growing up, there was no openly gay member of colour in Congress and there was no one in public life from whom I could draw comfort and inspiration to be my authentic self,” Mondaire Jones said earlier this year.

Republican Madison Cawthorn.
Republican Madison Cawthorn has become the youngest member of Congress at the age of 25. Source: AP

Outspoken Republican Madison Cawthorn has become the youngest member of Congress at the age of just 25. He will represent North Carolina.

Cawthorn nearly died in a car crash six years ago and uses a wheelchair because he’s partially paralysed.

He has quickly built a strong following with a compelling story, a Libertarian-style focus on freedom and hopes among Republicans that he can attract millennial voters.

QAnon theories supporter wins Georgia seat

Another Republican who has drawn criticism, Majorie Taylor Greene, has won a US House seat representing northwest Georgia.

She has previously expressed racist views and support for QAnon conspiracy theories in a series of online videos.

Trump called her a “future Republican star” before the election, bolstering her chances.

Greene thanked her staff and asked supporters to pray for Trump to win re-election at a watch party on Tuesday night, video of which was live-streamed on Facebook.

In her remarks, Greene pledged to “fight hard to make sure that Nancy Pelosi and the squad and the radical Democrats in the House do not steal anything away from America, because this country was never ever meant to be a socialist nation”.

Greene is a businesswoman who’s gained large followings on social media by posting incendiary videos and comments.

Majorie Taylor Green, pictured here on the back of a campaign truck endorsing Republican senator Kelly Loeffler . Source: AP
Another Republican who has drawn criticism, Majorie Taylor Greene, has won a US House seat representing northwest Georgia. Source: AP

She has claimed in online videos Black and Hispanic men are being held back by “gangs and dealing drugs”, alleged an “Islamic invasion” of government offices and accused Jewish billionaire George Soros of collaborating with Nazis.

Democrats are hoping to gain control of more state legislative chambers after Republicans scored huge wins in 2010.

That put them in charge of drawing congressional and state legislative maps after that year’s Census, a process that kept them in control in most of those states throughout the decade.

With Reuters and AP

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