7 Inspiring People Who Won Elections in 2017

Elections in the U.S. have not been easy lately. The 2016 presidential election has left most of us scarred for life and in a constant struggle for our basic human rights and freedoms and, in some cases, our lives. Even the recent special election in Alabama was so traumatizing to follow, the rhetoric and pedophilia apologizers so disturbing, that even the “win” didn’t feel much like winning.

But there were, still, many positive election results in the last year. Many women and people of color ran for public office, and won. Many inspiring people in our own communities took a chance on themselves and will now have the chance to improve those communities. That alone is something to celebrate.

While there are many more, here are just a few of the inspiring people who won elections this year.

Wikimedia Commons,  MSNBC, YouTube

Image credit: MSNBC, YouTube, via Wikimedia Commons

Ravinder Bhalla

Ravinder (Ravi) Bhalla overcame bigotry and xenophobia to become the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken and the first turban-wearing Sikh mayor in the U.S. Bhalla is a civil rights lawyer and served on the Hoboken city council for eight years before running for mayor. Bhalla won a six-person mayoral race in spite of bigots distributing fliers associating him with terrorism.

Wikimedia Commons: Caballero1967,

Image credit: Caballero1967 via Wikimedia Commons

Chris Hurst

Hurst’s 24-year-old girlfriend Alison Parker was killed by gun violence during a routine broadcast that 44,000 people watched. He ran against an NRA-backed incumbent to win the Virginia state house race just two days after the Texas church shooting left 26 people dead. Hurst is proof that we can make progress on gun violence.

By Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons

Jenny Durkan

Durkan became Seattle’s first lesbian mayor after winning the mayoral race this year. She is no stranger to firsts, having become the first openly-gay U.S. Attorney, appointed by Barack Obama. She’s also the first female mayor in Seattle since the 1920s.

Image Credit: Facebook, Kathy Tran for Delegate

Image Credit: Facebook, Kathy Tran for Delegate

Kathy Tran

Kathy Tran came to the United States from Vietnam as a refugee when she was a baby. Her husband’s family came to the U.S. through Ellis Island to escape anti-semitism. Tran decided to run as a candidate just a few weeks after her daughter’s birth, often canvassing neighborhoods with her infant strapped to her chest. In November, Tran became the first Asian American woman elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

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Image credit: Facebook, Wilmot Collins

Wilmot Collins

In November, Helena, Montana elected Wilmot Collins as the first black mayor in the state’s history. Collins, a refugee from Liberia, won the tight race despite anti-refugee tension and racism. The 54-year-old child protection specialist believes that his state will become more tolerant with education.

Joyce Craig

Image credit: Facebook, Joyce Craig for Manchester

Joyce Craig

Joyce Craig is a lesson in perseverance. Craig ran for mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire in 2015 and lost to Republican incumbent Ted Gatsas by just 64 votes. This time, she came back stronger than before and worked harder, raising more funds, hiring more staff and getting more volunteers. Her hard work paid off, and in November she was elected the city’s first ever female mayor.

Elizabeth_Guzman_at_volunteer_appreciation_event

Image credit: Mark Hanzel via Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth Guzmán

Elizabeth Guzmán beat a long-term Republican incumbent to become one of the first Latina women ever elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. Guzmán immigrated to the U.S. from Peru as a single mother, working multiple jobs to support her oldest child and further her education. Most recently, she worked as a public administrator and social worker.

35 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Mike R
Mike R6 months ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike R6 months ago

Thanks

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson8 months ago

Thank you!

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Freya H
Freya H8 months ago

No doubt there are plenty more. I hope there will be a lot more next year, because we need to have a political bloodbath in 2018 to let the Rethuglicans know that We The People are sick and tired of their crap.

Don't forget Doug Jones, who won an upset victory over the creepy Roy Moore.

Colin C, you do have a point there.

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caroline l
caroline lord8 months ago

thank you

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Winn A
Winn A8 months ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winn A8 months ago

It gives me hope . . . .

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Ruth S
Ruth S8 months ago

Thanks.

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Janis K
Janis K8 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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