Some big wins from the down-ticket races

Tuesday night saw a number of historic firsts in down-ballot races. Here are some of the 2017 election's big, history-making winners.

Trans candidates

In Virginia, Danica Roem became the first transgender woman to be elected to the state legislature, while in Minneapolis, Andrea Jenkins became the first black openly transgender woman to get elected anywhere in the U.S.

Democratic candidate for Virginia House of Delegates 13th District Danica Roem in Gainesville

Danica Roem, Democratic candidate for Virginia House of Delegates 13th District, is pictured in Gainesville, Virginia, U.S. on December 30, 2016. Courtesy Friends of Danica Roem/Handout via


Roem defeated Republican Robert Marshall, one of the most socially conservative members of the Virginia House of Delegates, on Tuesday. Marshall, who had referred to himself as the state's "chief homophobe," and introduced a "bathroom bill" targeting trans people earlier this year.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Jenkins was elected in a landslide to join the city council. She is the first black transgender woman to hold elected office since Althea Garrison, who did not campaign as openly transgender, was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1992.

Meet the new mayor


photo via Facebook

Ravinder Bhalla, who was elected Tuesday night, will be the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. Bhalla, who served on the City Council, was attacked by a series of racist signs during the campaign that labeled him a terrorist. The ads, which were denounced by Bhalla's opponent, have been reported to the Hoboken police.

Other notable candidates in Virginia 

In 2015, Chris Hurst's journalist girlfriend, Alison Parker, was murdered while on assignment. The horrifying tape of the shooting made national news, and Hurst became the face of her loved ones' grief.

Hurst worked with Parker at WDBJ-TV, but after the shooting he decided to leave the station and give politics a shot. Powered in part by a large social media following, Hurst beat a three-term incumbent Tuesday to win a seat in the House of Delegates.

Great time thanking supporters at the polls in Radford! Polls close at 7! If in line, it’ll count. Make sure your voice is heard! #GameOnVA

Posted by Chris Hurst on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Elsewhere in Virginia, 30-year-old Lee Carter beat a senior-ranking Republican member of the House of Delegates. But what caught people's attention is that Carter, a former Marine, is also an avowed socialist. His victory is a boost to the Democratic Party's resurgent left wing, which has become a real force in the wake of Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.

Tuesday also saw the election of the first two Latina women, Elizabeth Guzmán and Haya Ayala, to the state's legislature. It was all part of a surprisingly strong showing for Democrats in the state, who now appear to be on the verge of capturing the House of Delegates. 

And a World War II vet wins big

Vito Perillo, a 93-year-old World War II vet, defeated Mayor Gerald Turning in Tinton Falls, New Jersey on Tuesday. Perillo, who served in the Navy, due to a series of whistleblower lawsuits involving the local police force, and told the Asbury Park Press that he wore two pairs of shoes while going door-to-door.