Trailblazers secure big wins in US midterms
Democratic Massachusetts Governor-Elect Maura Healey celebrates victory and delivers a speech during a watch party at the Copley Plaza hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on November 8, 2022(AFP)

From the first openly lesbian governor to the first Generation Z member-elect of Congress, early results in the US midterms heralded a good night for diversity.

- 'Proud' -

In Massachusetts, voters elected Democrat Maura Healey as America's first out lesbian governor, TV networks projected.

The 51-year-old defeated Geoff Diehl, who had been endorsed by ex-president Donald Trump, to flip the office from the Republicans.

She said she was "proud" of her historic victory, telling cheering supporters that it sent a message "to every little girl and every LGBTQ person out there, you can be anything you want to be."

Healey will also become Massachusetts' first ever female governor. Her victory with running mate Kim Driscoll means that women will serve as both governor and lieutenant governor of a state for the first time.

- Gen Z -

In Florida, Democrat Maxwell Frost became the first member of Generation Z to be elected to Congress when he won a seat in the US House of Representatives.

The 25-year-old defeated Republican Calvin Wimbish in a district that leans solidly Democratic.

"We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future," the African American tweeted.

In New Hampshire, another Gen Z candidate, 25-year-old Karoline Leavitt, is also running for Congress, although she hails from the opposite side of the political spectrum -- and was in a more competitive race.

Transgender man

New Hampshire, meanwhile, became the first in US history to elect a transgender man to a state legislature, the Washington Post reported.

Democrat James Roesener was one of a record number of trans candidates on the ballot this year.

Roesener won't become the first openly trans lawmaker as a number of transgender women have been elected before.

Other notables

Alabama elected Republican Katie Britt as its first female senator while Sarah Huckabee Sanders was projected to win the gubernatorial race in Arkansas to become its first female governor.

Maryland elected its first Black governor, Democrat Wes Moore, while Markwayne Mullin will serve as the first Native American senator from Oklahoma in almost 100 years.

© Agence France-Presse