Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey won her bid for the state's governor on Tuesday, defeating her Republican opponent Geoff Diehl to become the nation's first openly lesbian governor.
Tuesday's win also makes Healey the first woman to hold the seat in Massachusetts.
On top of that, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll will be joining Healey as lieutenant governor. This is the first time that women have held both roles at the same time.
Healey, 51, focused her campaign on expanding job training programs, making housing and childcare more affordable, improving transportation, and protecting the right to abortion in Massachusetts, among other issues.
“I will be a governor who will protect reproductive freedom, who will support and protect our doctors, our providers, and always protect the right of women to make that intensely personal and often difficult decision for herself,” Healey said in a recent debate.
In 2009, Healey led the country's first successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, which discriminated against marriage for same-sex couples. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional.
Then, in 2014, she became the country's first openly lesbian woman to be elected state attorney general.
She also fought former president Donald Trump's travel ban and has worked to protect the Affordable Care Act, among other things.
In a recent debate, Healey said that as governor, she plans to appoint a secretary of housing to ensure that housing is affordable. “I want Massachusetts to be a place where if you are here, you can stay here. That’s the goal,” she said during the debate.
"Tonight, Maura Healey made history, becoming the first out lesbian governor this nation has ever elected. Massachusetts embraced a platform of equality and inclusion by electing a pro-equality champion," Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign, said Tuesday.
"With her in the statehouse, LGBTQ+ youth across Massachusetts and the United States will get to see that they are represented at the highest levels of government and that they can achieve anything they set their minds on," Madison added.
"We’ve elected a woman who fights to protect working families—a warrior who’s gone toe to toe with for-profit colleges and Big Oil—and it’s a great victory for the people of Massachusetts. Woo-hoo!" Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted.