The Pacific Index

Record number of women elected in midterms

Hanin Najjar

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The 2018 United States midterm election was a historic election with a record number of women elected to office, many firsts for minorities and success for communities of color. The Democratic Party won the back the House of Representatives with a majority of 234 to 201. Republicans still hold a majority of 52 in the Senate. The new congress will have 118 female members, breaking the previous record of 107.

The first two Muslim women, Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American from Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American from Michigan, were both elected to the house. The first two Native American women, Sharice Davids in Kansas and Deb Haaland in New Mexico were also elected. All four of these women were Democrats who aided in the house majority flip.

Davids also identifies as lesbian and is therefore the first openly LGBTQ member from Kansas. Jared polis, who won the governor’s seat in Colorado is now the first openly gay man elected governor. Oregon’s Kate Brown identifies as bisexual and was the first openly LGBT governor in office.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won New York’s 14th congressional district and broke the record as the youngest woman to be elected to congress at the age of 29. The first latina women from Texas, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, were also elected along with the first black congresswoman in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Jahana Hayes won Connecticut’s 5th congressional district and Ayanna Pressley won Massachusetts’ 7th congressional district.

Tennessee and Arizona elected their first female senators. South Dakota and Maine elected their first female governors, and Iowa elected its first woman to the house. States like Mississippi, North Dakota, Vermont and Alaska have yet to elect a woman to the house.

Stacey Abrams, who would have been the first black female governor of any state, and Andrew Gillum, who would have been the first black governor in Florida, both conceded Nov. 17.

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Record number of women elected in midterms