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Afghanistan vet David Ortiz will be Colorado’s first out bisexual lawmaker

David Ortiz
David Ortiz Photo: Facebook

Democrat David Ortiz has succeeded in his race to become the first out bisexual lawmaker in Colorado. Ortiz was standing for the state’s 38th District.

Ortiz, 38, is a former helicopter pilot with the U.S. military. He survived a crash while serving in Afghanistan that left him paralyzed from the waist down and put an end to his military career. Since that time, he has found a new calling as an advocate for disabled veterans and as a champion for equality. His victory also makes him the first wheelchair user elected to the legislature.

Related: Sarah McBride will be the nation’s highest-ranking transgender politician after election victory

Taking 56.6% of the vote, he unseated the Republican incumbent, Richard Champion. Ortiz said on Instagram, “I am incredibly humbled, honored, and excited to declare victory in the race for Representative of State House District 38.”

“This has been the third toughest experience of my life, behind combat and rebuilding my life after surviving a catastrophic crash that left me paralyzed from the waist down. But it has definitely also been one of the most rewarding. Thanks to this community, which has embraced the campaign’s motto of “I am, we are,” this seat has finally flipped blue!”

Ortiz is one of several LGBTQ candidates to achieve success in Colorado, where Democrats control the House and Senate.

In the Colorado House, out candidates Daneya Esgar, Leslie Herod, and Brianna Titone were re-elected to Districts 46, 8 and 27 respectively. Titone, who is trans, faced a bigoted advertising campaign against her from opponents who accused her of wanting to “force a radical sexual agenda on every Coloradan.”

Queer man Alex Valdez was re-elected to District 5. In the state senate, gay lawmaker Dominick Moreno was re-elected. One more LGBTQ Senate candidate, Sonya Jaquez Lewis, is awaiting results.

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