Zach Wahls, who defended lesbian moms in viral speech, wins Iowa State Senate seat

Zach Wahls, who seven years ago stood before the Iowa House of Representatives and delivered a stirring speech defending his two lesbian mothers, has just become a state lawmaker himself.

In a landslide victory over his libertarian opponent, Carl Krambeck, Wahls, a Democrat, clinched 78 percent of the vote in Iowa Senate District 37. Wahls will succeed Sen. Bob Dvorsky (D), who is retiring after more than 30 years.

Wahls, whose campaign promises included affordable health care and education, improved workers’ rights and gun control, was first thrust into the national spotlight in 2011 when his speech in support of his moms and gay marriage went viral.

In the ensuing years, Wahls would go on to advocate for LGBTQ Americans in other ways, including co-founding Scouts for Equality, an advocacy group dedicated to ending discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America.

Wahls, who announced last year that he was running for office, has said his viral speech had played a pivotal role in persuading him to pursue a career in public service.

Wahls, who is 26, will be one of the youngest people to ever serve in the Iowa Senate.

He said in a Tuesday night statement that it was an “honor to have voters across this district place their trust in me.”

“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,” Wahls said. “It’s time to start thinking about the future of our state again.”

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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.