Tennessee voters have elected the first openly gay members of the General Assembly.
Two of the three LGBT candidates who ran were elected Tuesday.
In Memphis, Democrat Torrey Harris, a human resources professional who identifies as bisexual, unseated incumbent Rep. John DeBerry by a wide margin.
DeBerry was ousted by the state Democratic Party earlier this year after routinely siding with Republicans. DeBerry and Harris did face off in the 2018 primary — in which DeBerry beat Harris soundly — but DeBerry appeared on the ballot as an independent this time.
Meanwhile, Republican Eddie Mannis won an open seat on the GOP ticket in Knoxville. Mannis is well known in East Tennessee as a businessman and advocate for veterans, and he didn’t make a big deal of out of his sexuality during the campaign. But his down-the-middle message appealed to voters in a rapidly moderating district west of Knoxville.
The third LGBT candidate, Democrat Brandon Thomas, challenged incumbent Republican Mike Sparks in Smyrna, but lost by about 8 percentage points.
In the Tennessee House, 41 Republicans and 19 Democrats have no opposition from the other major party.