Midterms Usher Wave Of Young, Democratic Women Of Color Into House

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The first black woman elected to represent MA in Congress is Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley, who faced no Republican on Tuesday.

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

This year, women not only increased their numbers, but the new class of lawmakers also includes women from a wide patchwork of backgrounds, adding to a Congress that is expected to be more diverse.

Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley will represent Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District in the next Congress. Pressley stunned the political establishment in September, defeating a 10-term incumbent in the Democratic primary, and was unopposed on Tuesday.

The House of Representatives will have two Muslim women among its members for the first time. Meanwhile the Arizona senate race is too close to call, but either Republican or Democrat, the victor will be the state's first woman in the seat.

■In Tennessee, Republican Marsha Blackburn will become that state's first woman senator.

Polis won the race for Colorado governor and will become the first openly gay man to enter a governor's mansion anywhere in America.


This year, women tied the record for most governor's seats women have ever held - nine - a number that was previously reached in 2004 and 2007. She did not face a challenger in the general election, making her the first black member of the House of Representatives from MA.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory in the June congressional primary in NY shook up Washington and the Democratic Party.

Democrats nominated women in key races that helped determine control of the House.

"Together, we made history!"

Diversity also won the day Tuesday with a record number of women of color headed to the halls of Congress.

While women gained in the House, results were still uncertain in the Senate, where there are now 23 women serving. ME and South Dakota also elected their first female governors with Janet Mills and Kristi Noem, respectively.

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


Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the Democrats who is considering the 2020 race, said that the two years since Trump ascended to the White House had ushered a new generation of women into public life.

Nearly 80% of voters in a CNN exit poll said it's very or somewhat important that more women and racial minorities be elected to public office, with two-thirds of white voters agreeing.

"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.

The historic totals capped off a campaign season in the wake of President Donald Trump's election that was defined in large part by female activism. And in several cases, the result was preordained one way or another because both major party candidates in a given race were women, as in the Arizona Senate contest. Several were first-time candidates.

From Florida to New Mexico, these candidates brought platforms that stood for a range of issues such as affordable health care, gun safety and climate change.

The impact of Tuesday's election will be a topic of much debate, but one thing's clear: Women made big strides.


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