Lesbians can look to Oregon for inspiration as the midterm elections heat up.

Tina Kotek, the state’s former Speaker of the House, captured the Democratic party nomination for governor and Jamie McLeod-Skinner, former president of the National Organization for Women, looks poised to knock off a seven-term Congressman.

Kotek won the primary with 55% of the vote. As her victory over state treasurer Tobias Read became apparent, Kotek promised supporters “an election unlike anything any of us has ever seen.” Kotek moves on to face two other accomplished female public servants in a three-way race to lead the Beaver State. If she wins, Kotek would become the first lesbian ever elected governor in the United States.

Meanwhile, McLeod-Skinner, a civil engineer and emergency response coordinator, appears to have sent Congressman Kurt Schrader packing in Oregon’s fifth congressional district. Schrader had the endorsement of President Joe Biden and fancied himself a “blue dog Democrat” but was overwhelmed by McLeod-Skinner in Deschutes County, home to Bend, Oregon.

Ballots are still being counted, due to a printing error in Clackamas County, but McLeod-Skinner’s lead appears to be insurmountable.


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