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Mass. Democrat Maura Healey becomes 1st openly lesbian governor

Massachusetts Democrat Maura Healey arrives at the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston on Tuesday after winning her race to become the nation's first openly lesbian governor. Photo by Amanda Sabga/EPA-EFE
Massachusetts Democrat Maura Healey arrives at the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston on Tuesday after winning her race to become the nation's first openly lesbian governor. Photo by Amanda Sabga/EPA-EFE

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Massachusetts Democrat Maura Healey scored a historic victory Tuesday, defeating Republican Geoff Diehl to become the nation's first openly lesbian governor.

Healey, the state's attorney general, waltzed to a decisive win over Diehl, according to projections by NBC News, ABC News and The New York Times.

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Another openly lesbian gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Tina Kotek, is running for office in Oregon on Tuesday.

"Tonight, I want to say something to every little girl and every LGBTQ person out there. I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever, you want to be," Healey told supporters at a Boston hotel.

She faced little internal Democratic opposition in her quest to return the Massachusetts governor's mansion to the party's control following Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's decision not to run for a third term.

Diehl, a former state representative and co-chair of former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign in Massachusetts, failed to attract moderates and conservative Democrats to his cause in the overwhelmingly blue state.

"Tonight, Maura Healey made history, becoming the first out lesbian governor this nation has ever elected," Human Rights Campaign interim President Joni Madison said in a statement. "Massachusetts embraced a platform of equality and inclusion by electing a pro-equality champion."

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"It is an uphill battle for LGBTQ candidates and women candidates to win high-level elected office, but Massachusetts voters know Maura is a fighter and today helped her make U.S. political history," added Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund and former Houston mayor.

"In the face of so much hate and intolerance sweeping our nation, her win is a sign -- especially to LGBTQ kids in desperate need of hope -- that LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public leaders," she added.

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