Women won more seats in Congress yesterday than ever before, with over 110 women elected, including the first Muslim women, first Native American women, and two women in their twenties. The women who were elected include the former Teacher of the Year, small business owners, former military helicopter pilots, activists, a former CIA officer, and public servants.
Yesterday’s election featured many first for women across the country. Deb Haaland in New Mexico and Sharice Davids in Kansas are the first Native American women elected to Congress. Sharice Davids is also Kansas’ first gay representative and Kansas also elected its first woman governor, Laura Kelly. Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, are the first Muslim women elected to office; Ilhan Omar is a refugee from Somali and was the first Somali-American elected to office in the US. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, and Abby Finkenauer in Iowa, are the youngest women elected to Congress, both are 29 years old. Lauren Underwood in Illinois, is the youngest black women elected to Congress and Ayanna Pressley is the first black woman from Massachusetts elected to Congress.
Jacky Rosen was elected to the Senate in a tough election in Nevada, flipping the seat from Republican to Democrat. Jared Polis won the governorship in Colorado; he is the first openly gay governor in the US. Pennsylvania for the first time has four women Representatives; previously the state had no women in its 21-member Congressional delegation.
The Democrats now control the House of Representatives, picking up twenty-nine seats, eighteen of which were won by women, and won at least seven governor races, while the Republicans gained two new seats in the Senate. As of this afternoon, we are still waiting to learn of the final results for Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona.
The 2018 midterm had what is projected to be the highest midterm turnout, with the latest reports stating that at least 97 million Americans voted. However, it may take up to another week to determine all final winners.
Media Resources: Vox 11/7/18; Buzzfeed 11/7/18; NYT 11/7/18