MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. (CBS Las Vegas/AP) — Of the four openly gay members of Congress, the two longest-serving stalwarts are vacating their seats. Instead of fretting, their activist admirers are excited about a record number of gays vying to win seats in the next Congress — and to make history in the process.
When Congress reconvenes in January, it could have its first openly gay Asian-American, Mark Takano of California; and its first openly gay senator, Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin.
It could also have its first openly bisexual member, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, since the state’s ninth district selected her as the Democratic nominee for Congress.
“We can only change Washington, if we change the people we send there,” Sinema said the night of her primary victory.
In all, eight openly gay candidates are running as major-party nominees for the House of Representatives, including the two incumbents — Democrats Jared Polis of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.
Among them, there’s one gay Republican, Richard Tisei, seeking a House seat from Massachusetts.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)