United States elects record number of women to House

Max Rose in October 2018

A former National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes, will become Connecticut's first black woman in Congress. Newcomer Ayanna Pressley of MA who ousted a 10-term incumbent in the primary will become the first black congresswoman from MA.

This year's U.S. midterm elections have already made history, with a record number of women, Native Americans, and Muslim candidates running for office.

What is already the most diverse Congress ever could become even more so after Tuesday's elections and will include several trailblazers.

Pressley was the first black woman to serve on Boston's city council and made history again after defeating the 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano in the primary.

Of those congressional women, two - Rashida Tlaib in Michigan's 13th Congressional District and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota's 5th District - are the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress.

Regardless of who wins in Arizona's competitive Senate race, the state will elect either Republican Martha McSally or Democrat Kyrsten Sinema as the state's first woman to serve in the chamber.

Democratic senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota lost their races, while Republican representative Marsha Blackburn became the first woman elected to the US Senate from Tennessee.

Some Democrats aren't blaming candidates like Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) or Andrew Gillum (R-Fla.) for their election night losses - they're blaming white women.

Women won more seats than ever before in the US House after a record number of female candidates were on ballots across the country, fueled by Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump. And Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, will be Connecticut's first black congresswoman. A recent New York Times article, for instance, called white women "gender traitors". There are still two outstanding races that have two women competing against each other, which means that at least 100 women will be serving in the House next year.

"This is something new we saw from women candidates: they are not trying to focus on their resumes and tout their accomplishments and push their families aside", she said.

"Together, we made history!"

Beyond the Bay State, voters in other states picked Native American and immigrant women as their representatives.

"White women are a Republican constituency, and in many states they again voted as if patriarchy would protect them", said frequent MSNBC guest Jamil White. Stratton ran with Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, who campaigned for an expansion of health care, job creation and early childhood education.

For this wave of women leaders, the next few years are going to be about much more than stereotypical women's issues.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezis is the youngest woman elected to Congress.

Texas is set to send its first Hispanic women to Congress, as Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia both won their races.

"Powered by a massive turnout of women and fuelled by our incredible candidates, House Democrats gained several seats in the heartland", Democratic representative Cheri Bustos of IL said in a statement Tuesday night after House control was called for Democrats. ME and South Dakota also elected their first female governors with Janet Mills and Kristi Noem, respectively. Several were first-time candidates.

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