Highlights

  • Maura Healey, first Lieutenant Governor who is openly lesbian
  • Massachussets' first woman governor
  • Healey defeated opponent Geoff Diehl

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Why Democrat Maura Healey's win in US state of Massachusetts is special

The 51 year-old flipped the seat from the Republicans, comfortably defeating opponent Geoff Diehl. 

The US state of Massachusetts on Tuesday elected Democrat Maura Healey as America's first openly lesbian governor, TV networks said.

Healey, 51, flipped the seat from the Republicans, comfortably defeating opponent Geoff Diehl, NBC and Fox News projected.

LGBTQ+ rights group the Human Rights Campaign hailed Healey's historic victory.

"Massachusetts embraced a platform of equality and inclusion by electing a pro-equality champion," the organization's interim president Joni Madison, said in a statement.

Healey's triumph returns the state's governorship to Democrats after eight years of Republican leadership under Charlie Baker who opted not to seek a third term.

Healey, who will also become Massachusetts' first ever female governor, was on track to heavily beat Diehl, who had been endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

The result had been widely expected, with Healey -- Massachusetts' attorney general since 2014 -- comfortably ahead in the polls in the runup to the vote.

LGBTQ candidates are running in all 50 states and the capital Washington for the first time in this year's midterm election, as the community becomes an increasingly powerful voting constituency.

Democrat Tina Kotek, who is also lesbian, was bidding to match Healey's win in Oregon on Tuesday in a governor's race regarded as a toss-up.

Almost 90 percent of the LGBTQ candidates who entered this year's primary races are Democrats.

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