You may remember this viral clip from 2011 of a young man defending his two mothers before the Iowa House of Representatives. It racked up millions of views and was shared all over the internet, with many praising the young man’s inspirational message and powerful delivery:
Seven years later, that same young man, Zach Wahls, has just won a seat in the Iowa State Senate, defeating his libertarian opponent, Carl Krambeck, with 78% of the vote.
We won. Thank you, Iowa.
— Zach Wahls (@ZachWahls) November 7, 2018
Since going viral, Wahls has become a vocal advocate for many progressive causes, including gun control, affordable health care, and, of course, LGBTQ civil rights. He also co-founded Scouts for Equality, an advocacy group hoping to end discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America.
— David Scrivner (@davidscrivner) November 7, 2018
At 27, Wahls will be one of the youngest people to ever serve in the State Senate. He announced his candidacy last year and won the Democratic primary to replace Sen. Bob Dvorsky (D), who is retiring.
Twitter was overjoyed to see this new face in the government!
— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) November 7, 2018
I don't think younger queer people fully get how much has changed on LGBTQ issues, and how fast. I remember this speech. I cried. I would never in a million years have dreamed that seven years later gay marriage would be the law of the land, and @ZachWahls a state senator. https://t.co/lKgM84aFHI
— Abby Spice (@clapifyoulikeme) November 7, 2018
You met Zach Wahls as the Eagle Scout with two moms who, still a teenager, testified for marriage equality to the Iowa state legislature. Tonight, just now, he became an Iowa State Senator himself. Congrats, @ZachWahls. You've done us proud. pic.twitter.com/7WTWqXkAXI
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) November 7, 2018
Change is happening all over the country…
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) November 7, 2018
A small thing, but it was nice to learn last night that Zach Wahls is still hot
— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) November 7, 2018
— Pamela (@pamnbenja) November 7, 2018
Wahls’ victory represents a step forward for equality.
Congratulations Zach Wahls , your two moms certainlly are so proud of you , such as you are so proud of them as well !!!! Beautiful family ; please give my regards to your moms !!! pic.twitter.com/BBeB2PFwMi
— dejalma ferreira (@DDejalma) November 8, 2018
— Alec Mapa (@AlecMapa) November 7, 2018
After being elected, Wahls issued a statement, saying:
“I hope tonight marks a fresh start for Iowa. We must all come together to bring real reform to our health care system, restore a tradition of excellence to our public education system and raise incomes for Iowa’s working families. It’s time to start thinking about the future of our state again.”
Well done, Iowa! You’ve elected a bright new voice in politics!