Susan Allen became the first openly lesbian Native American to be elected to a state legislature after winning a special election in Minnesota on Tuesday night.
The Democratic candidate beat her Republican opponent, Nathan Blumenshine, by a 53 percent to 43 percent vote. Allen will replace Democrat Jeffrey Hayden, who was recently elected to the Minnesota Senate.
“My early priorities will be to bring jobs and job training to our district, work on a fair tax system for Minnesota and fight the discriminatory constitutional marriage amendment,” Allen said after winning the election. “I look forward to getting to know you better, hearing about your priorities and about how I can best represent you.”
Minnesota lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment in May that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. Minnesotans will vote to ratify or reject the proposed amendment in the 2012 elections.
“We’re thrilled for Susan and the remarkable progress her victory represents,” said Tiffany Muller of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. “This is our first win of 2012, and it’s a fantastic way to start off what will be a very exciting year for LGBT candidates.”