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Winners Of 2017 Elections Include A Lot Of Historical Candidates

Nov 8, 2017
Originally published on November 8, 2017 8:31 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Yesterday's election was good for Democrats like Phil Murphy, who won New Jersey's gubernatorial race and Ralph Northam, now Virginia's governor-elect. Here's Northam last night.

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RALPH NORTHAM: Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry.

SIEGEL: It was not a good day for Republicans, especially President Donald Trump. We'll hear more about that in a moment.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Yesterday's election results are also notable for a number of firsts. Virginia elected its first openly transgender candidate for the House of Delegates. Journalist Danica Roem unseated a Republican incumbent who had once called himself Virginia's chief homophobe. Here's part of Roem's victory speech.

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DANICA ROEM: To every person who's ever been singled out, who's ever been stigmatized, this one's for you.

MCEVERS: And this may be a first, too. Roem is also a singer with the heavy metal band Cab Ride Home.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CRASH THE GATE")

ROEM: (Singing) All in the name of God, (unintelligible).

SIEGEL: Roem will be joined in Virginia's state house by other pioneers. Two Latinas and an Asian-American woman also won seats in the House of Delegates.

MCEVERS: Candidates elsewhere broke glass ceilings, too. Ravi Bhalla is the first Sikh to become mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. Anonymous flyers had tried to paint him as a terrorist, but he beat five other candidates to become the mayor.

SIEGEL: Moving south, Charlotte, N.C., elected its first female African-American mayor. Her name is Vi Lyles, and last night she told her supporters they had made history.

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VI LYLES: You've proven that we are a city of opportunity and inclusiveness.

(APPLAUSE)

MCEVERS: We can't mention every first from yesterday's elections, but let's just say one more. Yvonne Spicer was elected to be the first mayor of Framingham, Massachusetts. Framingham was founded more than 300 years ago but just recently decided to become city. And every city deserves a mayor. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.