Danica Roem is grabbing a lot of headlines for becoming one of the nation's first openly transgender elected officials.

But her election — which ousted one of Virginia's most socially conservative lawmakers — is far from the only first that happened Tuesday. Women, black women, black men, Latinas, money in politics and the surge of Democratic voters all recorded some notable firsts.

In fact, almost all of the firsts are on the Democratic side, because, well, they won almost across the board in competitive state elections Tuesday night.

Here's a rundown of some notable firsts.

Color and gender firsts

From Montana to South Carolina, at least seven cities elected their first black leader. One black woman became her city's first mayor.


First mayor of Framingham, Mass.: Yvonne Spicer, a black woman, will become the first mayor in Framingham's 317-year history. The town voted in the spring to become a city instead of a maintaining a town government.


First black female mayor of Charlotte: Charlotte Mayor-elect Vi Lyles's father didn't graduate from high school. She spent three decades as a city administrator before running for office.

First black mayor of Statesboro, Ga.: Jonathan McCollar

First black mayor of Cairo, Ga.: Booker Gainor

First black mayor of Milledgeville, Ga.: Mary Parham-Copelan

First black mayor of Georgetown, S.C.: Brendon Barber

First black mayor of Helena, Mont.: Wilmot Collins


First black mayor of St. Paul, Minn.: Melvin Carter

(Many of the mayoral stats are courtesy of Kristen Clarke, the director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.)

First Latinas elected to the Virginia House of Delegates: Democrats Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala.

First Asian American female to be elected to Virginia House of Delegates: Kathy Tran, a refugee from Vietnam who fled to the United States when she was just 2, won a Republican-held seat. (This post originally said she unseated a Republican; the seat was actually open, and formerly held by a Republican.)

LGBT firsts

Roem wasn't the only openly transgender candidate who won Tuesday. Andrea Jenkins became the first black transgender woman to be elected to public office when she won a Minneapolis City Council race. “Transgender people have been here forever, and black transgender people have been here forever,” Jenkins told The Washington Post. “I’m really proud to have achieved that status.”


In Pennsylvania, Tyler Titus became the first openly transgender person elected to the state, ever, by winning a seat in the Erie school board.

Money-in-politics first

One of the most expensive state legislative races ever culminated Tuesday. More than $10 million was spent between the two sides in a special election for an open Washington state Senate seat outside Seattle. This wasn't just about one seat; control of the entire state government was on the line. Democrats needed to flip just one seat in special elections Tuesday to effectively take control of the state Senate, and they did. Democrat Manka Dhingra ended up winning the expensive race.


That makes Washington the eighth state to be entirely controlled by Democrats. (Compared with 26 controlled by Republicans).

Firsts for Democratic turnout

Democrats in Virginia especially had a stellar night. Here's how stellar:


Polls before the election had Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeating Republican Ed Gillespie by just one to three percentage points. Northam ended up winning by 8½ points, which is the biggest winning margin for a Democratic governor in Virginia in 32 years.

Northam also got the most votes ever for a Virginia candidate for governor (more than 1.4 million), beating the previous record of Republican former governor Robert McDonnell (1.1 million).


When you add in votes for Gillespie, Virginians cast 2.6 million votes, the most votes ever in their state's governor's race.

And Northam won with the highest turnout in a Virginia governor's race in 20 years.

His win means that, for the first time in a quarter-century, Democrats will be likely to have veto power over the new electoral maps that state lawmakers will draw in 2021. (Though Democrats may need to increase their governing power in the state legislature in 2019 to realistically have a say in the maps.)


Speaking of, state legislative Democrats also had a strong night. All 100 seats in Virginia's GOP-controlled House of Delegates were up. Democrats picked up at least 16 seats, with several races still being counted. It means Democrats could exceed all expectations and potentially take control of the House of Delegates for the first time since 1997.


After Phil Murphy won the race to replace term-limited Gov. Chris Christie (R) in New Jersey, Democrats regained control of the state government for the first time since 2009New Jersey became the seventh state to be entirely controlled by Democrats.

Democrats kept control of both state legislative chambers, setting a record for longest control by one party of the state legislature (13 years and counting).

In local elections in Pennsylvania, Democrats won two countywide seats on the Delaware County Council for the first time ever. They won their first-ever victories in county elections in Chester County, Pa., as The Post's Paul Kane points out.

First for ballot initiatives

On Tuesday, Maine voters made their state the first to expand Medicaid by ballot initiative. Maine voters approved an initiative to expand government-paid health care to tens of thousands of mostly lower-income people, the exact opposite of what Republicans in Washington have spent the past year trying to do.

But Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), who has vetoed at least five Medicaid expansions sent to him by the bipartisan state legislature, said he will not expand Medicaid until state lawmakers figure out a way to pay for it without raising taxes. In other words, this expansion is on hold for the moment.