Vermont has elected a gay man, Michael Pieciak, as state treasurer.
Pieciak, a Democrat, bested Republican H. Brooke Paige in the race to replace Beth Pearce, also a Dem, who did not seek reelection.
Pieciak will be the first member of the LGBTQ+ community to hold the office. He has held an appointed position as Vermont's top financial regulator since 2016, and he helped lead the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He and Erick Russell, just elected treasurer in Connecticut, will be the nation's first two out state treasurers.
This year also saw Vermont elect the first woman and first LGBTQ+ person to represent the state in Congress, Becca Balint, a lesbian and fellow Democrat. As Vermont has just one U.S. House district, she and Pieciak will now be the state's first two out statewide elected officials.
At his victory celebration Tuesday night in Burlington, Piecak nodded to the historic nature of his election. He gave a shout-out to state Rep. Bill Lippert, Vermont's first out lawmaker, who is retiring after 26 years in the legislature, Vt Digger reports.
"You made it so easy for someone like me to be able to run and be open, and it's just amazing," Pieciak said. "I owe that to you."
Pieciak defeated Paige by 62 percent to 33 percent. Paige, who also ran for secretary of state, is a "perennial candidate" who was nominated by the Republican Party when no one else was available, Vt Digger notes. Pearce endorsed Pieciak shortly after announcing her retirement.
As treasurer, Pieciak will be responsible for administering the state's investments, managing its debt, and overseeing public employee pension systems.
He was endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, and environmental, labor, and law enforcement groups.