Sarah McBride, who in 2016 was the first openly transgender person to address the Democratic National Convention, made history again with a primary victory Tuesday night, setting her up for her likely win as the highest-ranking openly transgender legislator in the U.S.
"I'm overwhelmed with gratitude tonight," McBride said in a statement. "This victory would be impossible without the incredible work of hundreds of grassroots volunteers. It proves that Delaware can show America what is possible when neighbors come together."
The LGBTQ Victory Fund, which had endorsed McBride, declared victory for her in Delaware's First Senate District shortly after polls closed at 9 p.m. At the time her win was declared, McBride secured 93.3 percent of absentee and mail votes in the primary against Joseph McCole.
Annise Parker, CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement McBride's win "shatters another lavender ceiling in our movement to build LGBTQ political power and her victory will inspire more transgender people to run for elected office."
"At a time when the Trump administration, cynical politicians and too many state legislatures are attempting to use trans people as political weapons, Sarah's win is a powerful reminder that voters are increasingly rejecting the politics of bigotry in favor of candidates who stand for equality," Parker said.
McBride, who has worked as press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, is expected to easily win the general election in the Democratic district, which includes parts of Wilmington.
In addition to being the highest-ranking ranking openly transgender legislator in the country, McBride is on her way to becoming the first openly transgender elected official in Delaware.
Currently, there are four openly transgender legislators: Virginia State Del. Danica Roem (D-Va.), the first out trans person to win and serve in a state legislature, as well as Colorado State Rep. Brianna Titone and New Hampshire State Reps. Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon.
"Three years ago there were zero out trans state legislators anywhere in the country, but each win reinvigorates a virtuous cycle that familiarizes voters with trans people and encourages more trans people to run," Parker concluded. "We are optimistic we can double the number of trans state legislators in 2020 – from four to at least eight – and their impact will be felt well beyond the boundaries of their districts."
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.