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Leigh Finke elected first transgender Minnesota lawmaker

Finke was one of several candidates in races around the state who made history in Minnesota on election night.

MINNESOTA, USA — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired to KARE11 on Aug. 11, 2022.

Leigh Finke was elected to Minnesota House 66A, making her the first-ever transgender lawmaker in the state's history. 

Finke, who is a first time candidate, won her Minnesota state legislature race on Election Night. Throughout her campaign, she earned widespread endorsements from Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flannigan, AG Keith Ellison, Sen. Tina Smith and Rep. Betty McCollum, according to a press release.

RELATED: Leigh Finke wins district; seeking to become first trans lawmaker elected to Capitol

Along with her push to protect LGBTQ people, Leigh's campaign addressed issues such as for reproductive rights, the climate crisis, economic equality and housing shortages in Minnesota. 

"Like many voters in the state, I’m worried. But I also believe that the state government is capable of addressing these challenges," Finke says in a statement on her website. "If I did not believe that committed public servants could solve these problems, I would not run. Everyone deserves a chance. Not just to live, but to thrive. I believe we can all find room to thrive in Minnesota."

And Finke's victory was just one of several historic "firsts" in Minnesota on election night. Dawanna Witt will serve as Hennepin County's first Black and female sheriff, Mary Moriarty will be the first openly gay Hennepin County Attorney, three Black women were elected to the Minnesota Senate for the first time, Alicia Kozlowski is the first Mexican-Ojibwe person to represent Duluth and the first nonbinary legislator in the Minnesota House, and Hollies Winston will be the first Black mayor in Brooklyn Park.

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