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Harris, Mannis make history as first LGBTQ legislators elected to Tennessee House

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Posted at 5:56 AM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 06:56:40-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two new state legislators made history with their wins by becoming the first openly LGBTQ politicians to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Until Tuesday night, Tennessee was one of just five states in the country to have never elected an openly LGBTQ person to the state legislature.

Democrat Torrey Harris and Republican Eddie Mannis won their elections and will now be Tennessee state representatives. Harris will represent a Memphis district and Mannis will cover a Knoxville district.

They will be coming to Nashville soon to start their official business.

“I hope to be someone that you look to as a real representative. Somebody who will listen, empower, not just some but all Tennesseans in all the state,” said Harris.

“I'm excited for things to come, I'm excited for what we can do for District 18. I'm excited to have gone through this process with all of you,” said Mannis.

The Victory Fund, a national organization that helps get openly LGBTQ people elected, released a statement Tuesday, saying: "Their presence in the state legislature could dilute toxic anti-LGBTQ voices and lead to more inclusive legislation."