Benham, who is bisexual, is the first out LGBTQ+ woman elected to the state legislature. She will also become one of only a few out autistic state lawmakers nationwide.
The Democrat bested her Republican opponent, Ed Moeller, in state House of Representatives District 36, located in the greater Pittsburgh area. The seat had been held by another Democrat, Harry Readshaw, since 1995. He did not seek reelection.
Benham thanked her supporters Wednesday in a celebratory tweet. "It will be my absolute honor to represent you in Harrisburg. I'm ready to get to work!" she wrote.
\u201cThank you to the voters of the 36th district for your overwhelming support of our campaign, and to my incredible volunteers and staff for all of your help and encouragement. It will be my absolute honor to represent you in Harrisburg. I\u2019m ready to get to work!\u201d
The University of Pittsburgh graduate is cofounder of and director of development for the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy, the only LGBTQ+ autistic-led advocacy group in the Pittsburgh area. According to her Twitter bio, as a state lawmaker she will be "fighting for healthcare, workers' rights, & a clean environment."