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These 3 States Haven't Ever Elected LGBTQ+ State Legislators

Tennesee LGBTQ+ legislators

Despite historic wins in Delaware and Tennessee, much still remains to be done for LGBTQ+ representation.

Despite historic wins in Delaware and Tennessee, there remain at least three states without elected LGBTQ+ representation in their legislatures. Alaska, Louisiana, and Mississippi are the only states without a queer voice in the respective statel egislatures, although the winner of Lyn Frank's race for the Alaska state house has yet to be announced -- if Frank is elected, there would only be two states. While Sarah McBride's victory for a seat in Delaware legislature was expected, the victories of Torrey Harris and Eddie Mannis in their Tennessee state legislature races are perhaps the most encouraging achievement in the current election cycle.

"Twin victories secured a long-elusive political milestone in Tennessee and will pave the way for a more representative state legislature next year," Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement. "Both Torrey and Eddie sent a clear message that LGBTQ candidates can win in a deep red state while being their authentic selves. Their presence in the state legislature can dilute the most toxic anti-LGBTQ voices and lead to more inclusive legislation." The wins came as a part of a larger "rainbow wave" of elections.

Harris, a Democrat, easily cruised to victory in the state's District 90, with over 77 percent of the vote at last count. He will represent the Memphis area. Knoxville businessman Eddie Mannis ran and won as a Republican in District 18. Some had claimed Mannis was actually a Democrat, but the voters elected him anyway. His race was closer, but he still had a large 54 to 45 percent margin of victory.

Only Louisiana and Mississippi remain as states with no possibility of electing LGBTQ+ candidates. Their political histories are equally notorious for their corruption and bigotry. Louisiana was home to the famed populist Huey Long, the larger-than-life governor with an eye on the White House before he was assassinated in the state's Capitol Building in 1935. The state is also home to right wing racist, felon, and former head klansman David Duke, who ran for governor as a Republican in 1991. His opponent was the notoriously corrupt incumbent Edwin Edwards who famously ran and won on the slogan "Vote for the Crook. It's Important." Mississippi also has a history of racism and political exclusion. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were famously murdered while attempting to register Black voters in the state in 1964. Their deaths became the subject of the 1988 movie Mississippi Burning starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe.

RELATED | History-Making Sarah McBride Gives Inspiring Speech After Election

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