6 Historical Female Firsts in the Midterms (2018)

female protestor holding a yellow poster that reads \grab them by the midterms\
via Unsplash

6 Historical Female Firsts in the Midterms (2018)

Women saw some serious success in yesterday's midterm elections. Women governors were newly elected in Michigan, South Dakota, New Mexico, Kansas, and Maine. Last month, Nancy Pelosi spoke to CNN about the importance of women in politics, "Nothing is more wholesome for our country, for our politics, for our campaigning than the increased participation of women in the electoral process."

CNN projected that 98 women would win House seats, "33 being newly elected and 65 incumbents". According to The New York Times "272 of the 964 candidates running this year were women" and "216 are black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or multiracial." "More than a quarter of candidates running this year are female, including 84 women of color, that's a 42% increase from just two years ago." Additionally, "26 identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender." According to a New York Times analysis, "the share of candidates who are white men, at 58%, is the lowest in the past four elections."

History was made in many ways, and women being elected into office was a strong and inspiring start. Other historic moves included:

  • The first openly gay congressman from New Hampshire, Chris Pappas was elected.

  • The Youngest state legislator in the United States goes to Kalan Haywood, a Democrat from Wisconsin.

  • The first deceased candidate won, by a landslide.

While there is still much to overcome, the progress made was a strong start.

Youngest Woman Elected to Congress

Your new best friend, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress at 29 years-old, beating Rep. Joe Crowley, a democrat. Her win was considered a huge upset. She will represent New York's 14th District in Washington, D.C.

Native American Women Are Finally Seen

Incumbent, Kevin Yoder, a Republican was unseated by Democrat, Sharice Davids who won a seat in the House of Representatives for Kansas' 3rd District. Davids is also the first lesbian representative, ever. Democrats, Deb Haaland won her seat in New Mexico's 1st District. Both women are now the first Native American women elected to Congress.

First Female Elected Iowa Governor

Republican, Kim Reynolds was elected governor of Iowa, becoming the first woman to hold the position. Previously, she became governor when Trump appointed the then governor, Terry Brandstad, ambassador to China in 2017.

Texas Votes for First Latina Congress Members, Ever

Veronica Escobar (D) and Sylvia Garcia (D) are the first Latinas to represent the state of Texas in Congress. Escobar won the state's 16th district while Garcia grabbed the 29th.

First Black Congresswoman from Massachusetts

Ayanna Pressley is now the first black woman elected into Congress from Massachusetts. She took the state's 7th district beating out Democrat, Mike Capuano in September.

Muslim Women Make History

Rashida Tlaib won Michigan's 13th District and IIhan Omar took Minnesota's 5th district both becoming the first Muslim women elected into Congress. Additionally, Tlaib is now the first Palestinian-American to serve in the United States in Congress.

What's Next?

For the first time in history, 100 women will have seats in the House of Representatives. The impact female candidates had on the primaries is astonishing, something that the Democrats will continue to foster come 2020.

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