The 2020 election has been unlike anything this country has seen, but that can be a positive if you look at the election the right way. Here are some of the Black American men and women that made history in the 2020 election.
Cori Bush, Missouri’s 1st Congressional District (D)
It took three tries, but nurse and Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush became the first Black congresswoman in Missouri’s history. Bush, a 44-year-old mother of two, has defeated her two challengers, Republican Anthony Rogers and Libertarian Alex Furman, receiving just under 80% of the vote.
In her acceptance speech, Bush told her supporters she loves them and will fight for them.
“Your Congresswoman-elect loves you and I need you to hear that because if I love you, I care that you eat, if I love you, I care that you have shelter and adequate, safe housing. If I love you, I care that you have clean water and clean air and you have a livable wage. If I love you, I care that the police don’t murder you. If I love you, I care that you make it home safely.”
Ritchie Torres, New York’s 15th Congressional District (D)
Former New York City Council member Richie Torres, who came out in 2005, has become the first openly gay Black and Latino Congressman winning the 15th district in the Bronx, defeating Republican Patrick Delices by receiving almost 90% of the vote. With the win, Torres also becomes the youngest elected official in NYC.
“It’s overwhelming and surreal,” Torres told ABC News Tuesday night. “I never thought as a poor kid in the Bronx who grew up in public housing, that I would become a member ]of the United State Congress, it’s beyond my wildest dreams.”
Mondaire Jones, New York’s 17th Congressional District (D)
Mondaire Jones, who received more than 50% of the vote in New York’s 17th district shares the title with Torres as the first openly Black gay Congressman in the city’s history.
Jones defeated four other challengers for the seat, which serves Rockland County, and portions of central and northwestern Westchester County, including White Plains. Jones, who also grew up in public housing, said he knows winning will give Black men like him someone to look up to, which he didn’t have.
“If I had grown up being able to see someone like myself in office, let alone in the halls of Congress, it would’ve made my coming out process so much easier for me,” Jones said. “I would’ve been able to see in real time that it actually does get better for people like myself, who are quite frankly not given the same opportunities and who are discriminated against.”
Shevrin Jones District 35, Florida State Senate (D)
Jones has become one of the only openly Black LGBT men elected to the Florida Legislature. Jones ran on expanding funding for public education, expanding access to quality, affordable health care and reproductive health, passing a $15 per hour minimum wage and increasing affordable housing options.
The former AP Chemistry teacher knocked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his coronavirus response in the state.
“Not only am I in favor of a stay at home order, we need to do a mandatory mask order throughout the state,” Jones said in July. “Especially in South Florida, we are a regional area, so if Broward is not following Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach is not following Broward County, all you’re going to see is individuals getting on 95 and traveling up north to go to dinner and do other things, so we should have a stay at home order until these numbers come back down.”
Other winners that made history include Michele Rayner-Goolsby, the first Black openly queer woman elected to the Florida House of Representatives; Jabari Brisport, New York’s first queer state Senator of color and Kim Jackson, who became Georgia’s first openly LGBTQ+ state senator.