First Muslim women in Congress, and more huge victories for women in the 2018 midterm elections
Hundreds of women ran for office at all levels of government this year—more women than in any previous election. And tonight, November 6th, women proved that our strength knows no bounds. From the first Muslim women in Congress to the first Texas Latinas ever elected to the House, the 2018 election was a huge one for women nationwide. Below, take a look at some of the biggest victories for women tonight. We’ll be updating this list as the results roll in.
Kyrsten Sinema becomes the first openly bisexual person elected to the Senate
Arizona candidate Kyrsten Sinema had to wait until November 12th to claim her victory, but she ultimately triumphed, becoming the first openly bisexual person ever elected to the Senate. Her race against Republican Martha McSally has been too close to call since the midterm elections last week. Sinema is also the first female senator from Arizona.
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar become the first Muslim women in Congress
After beating out her Democratic opponent, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, in Michigan’s August primary, Rashida Tlaib ran unopposed in the general election, easily winning her congressional seat. In Minnesota, Somali-American Ilhan Omar claimed victory in her House race. Together, they became the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
Ayanna Pressley becomes the first Black congresswoman from Massachusetts
Former Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressely—who was the first woman of color elected to the council—beat out long-time Democratic incumbent Michael Capuano in Massachusetts’s September primary, a hard-won battle. Today, she sailed to victory in the Mass. 7th, running uncontested.
Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia become the first Latinas from Texas elected to Congress
Texas’s population is nearly 40% Latinx, but before tonight, the state had never elected a Latina to Congress. Now, though, two Texas Latinas will make their voices heard on a national stage. Congratulations to Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes the youngest woman ever elected to Congress
At just 29 years old, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She won her primary in a shocking upset, defeating 10-term Democrat Joe Crowley in June. Previously, Rep. Elise Stefanik held the record for youngest woman ever elected—she won her seat in 2014 at age 30.
Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland become the first Native American women elected to Congress
Sharice Davids of Kansas and New Mexican Deb Haaland became the first Native American women to ever win seats in Congress. Native Americans were granted citizenship and the right to vote in 1924.
Kendra Horn flipped a seat that’s been Republican since 1975
Oklahoma Democrat Kendra Horn scored an upset victory over Republican incumbent Steve Russell, flipping a seat that’s been red for more than 40 years. She is the first ever Democratic congresswoman from the state.
Jahana Hayes becomes the first Black woman to represent Connecticut in the House
Jahana Hayes declared victory in Connecticut on election night, becoming the state’s first Black congresswoman. She was named 2016 Teacher of the Year by President Barack Obama, and has spoken openly about her impoverished upbringing and becoming a mother at age 17. She joins Ayanna Pressley as one of the first women of color to serve New England in Congress.
Janet Mills becomes the first woman governor of Maine
Janet Mills, Maine’s current attorney general, beat out her Republican opponent, businessman Shawn Moody, to become the first woman governor of the state. She’ll take over the position from current Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a Trump supporter whose racist rhetoric and attempts to block Medicaid expansion have raised the ire of Mainers.
100 women will serve in the House of Representatives, the largest number in history
On Wednesday morning, November 7th, CNN reported that 100 women would serve in the House of Representatives next year—the largest number of women ever in U.S. history. That’s still not even one quarter of the House—there are 435 seats total—but it is undoubtedly an enormous victory and proof that time’s up on white male control of power.