Davante Lewis becomes Louisiana’s first openly LGBTQ person elected to state government

With his upset victory Saturday in the Public Utility Commission, Davante Lewis became the first openly LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in Louisiana. She is also the first openly LGBTQ Black person elected in the state’s history.

“I think it’s important that our elected officials start to reflect the real people of our state,” Lewis said in an interview earlier this week. “The story of my choice because of my age, because of my race, because of my sexual identity, is not lost on me.”

“My success breeds success for many other candidates and I take it very seriously,” he said.

Lewis defeated three-term incumbent Lambert Boissiere III, a black Democrat from New Orleans. The Associated Press called the race for Lewis and the votes are still being counted Saturday night.

Other LGBTQ people in Louisiana politics also celebrated Lewis’ victory as a historic victory.

“Louisiana voters have sent a strong message. Being gay is no longer a barrier to public service,” said Stephen Handwerk, former executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party and a gay man. “Davante has also sent a strong message to children growing up today that they, too, can hold elective office.”

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