NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Openly) – History is in the making. For the first time, two openly gay candidates are competing for election to a U.S. congressional seat. Analysts say the race in New York’s 3rd congressional district highlights the huge strides LGBTQ+ representation and acceptance have made on the political stage. “What’s notable is that it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, which shows how far the country has come on acceptance of gay and lesbian candidates,” said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Democrat Robert Zimmerman, a 68-year-old marketing executive, will face off against George Santos, a 34-year-old Republican financier, in the midterm elections on Nov. 8. Zimmerman has a slight advantage in the “toss up” race, according to nonpartisan election forecaster The Cook Political Report, as the Democratic incumbent, Thomas Suozzi, stands down. If he wins, Santos would be the first openly gay Republican to gain a seat in Congress. Two Republicans have been re-elected after either coming out or being outed as gay while in office.