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Record Number of Firsts in Midterm Elections


A record number of firsts were made in November’s Midterm elections. Here is partial list of them.

First Native American Women

Democrats Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland will become the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Davids’ win in Kansas against GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder was a pickup for Democrats to gain control of the House. Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Davids identifies as a lesbian, making her the first openly LGBT member of Congress from Kansas as well. She will enter Congress having previously worked as a lawyer and a former mixed martial arts fighter.

Haaland will replace New Mexico Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who vacated the seat to run for governor. Haaland is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna.

First Muslim Women Elected to Congress

History has been made after the US elected its first Muslim women to congress – Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Ms Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, secured Michigan’s 13th congressional district race. And in Minnesota’s Fifth congressional district, Somali-American Ms Omar won the seat previously held by Keith Ellison, the nation’s first Muslim congressman. Both women are Democrats.

First Openly Gay Man Elected Governor

Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis’ bid for governor was successful. Polis will become the first openly gay man elected governor. He will succeed Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited from seeking the office again.

Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who identifies as bisexual, is already the first openly LGBT person to be elected governor.

Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina and 28 years old, is now the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She will represent New York State 14th Congressional District.

First Female Senator from Tennessee

Rep. Marsha Blackburn became the first female senator to represent Tennessee when she outlasted a challenge from former Gov. Phil Bredesen. Blackburn is a conservative lawmaker closely tied to the President.

First Female Senator from Arizona

Arizona is guaranteed to elect its first female senator. Following GOP Sen. Jeff Flake’s decision last year not to seek re-election, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema faced off against GOP Rep. Martha McSally. As of presstime Wednesday, McSally had a lead. Arizona’s tight Senate race likely will not be called until later this week. No matter who wins, Arizona will have its first female senator in history.

Texas Sends First Hispanic Women to Congress

Texas voters elected the state’s first two Hispanic women to Congress as Veronica Escobar won the seat to replace Rep. Beto O’Rourke in the congressional district near El Paso. O’Rourke gave up his seat in order to unsuccessfully run for Senate.

State Sen. Sylvia Garcia won a Houston-area district that was relinquished by the retiring Democratic Rep. Gene Green.

South Dakota Elects its First Woman Governor

Republican Kristi Noem will become South Dakota’s first female governor after defeating Democrat Billie Sutton. Noem had previously been serving as South Dakota’s at-large member of Congress.

Some firsts out of reach

While Tuesday marked a series of first steps for the nation, many other candidates fell short in their own groundbreaking bids: Tallahassee Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum would have become Florida’s first black governor; and in Vermont, Democratic nominee Christine Hallquist already made history as the first transgender major party nominee for governor, but she was unable to defeat GOP Gov. Phil Scott.


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