The future is female and the women elected to office these past Midterms are all you need to embrace it.
These past Midterms were historical, and I’m not just talking about the Blue Wave, or the incumbent seats that were challenged, some of which were successful, nor the Republican strongholds that were flipped, but rather the record-high number of women who hold seats in Congress: 110 out of 535.
Twenty-three women will serve in the Senate; that’s nearly 1 out of 4. As for the House, we’re at a record 87 women (1 out of 5), including Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. All of this is good news and certainly creates expectation, so congratulations to all. Now, let’s take a look at the women who achieved a little bit more in the form of firsts.
First Female Senators Ever for their States
Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona)
Tennessee and Arizona have made history by electing female senators for the first time. Republican Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), currently serving in the House of Representatives, though, has made it a point not to be associated with gender issues only. She’s been endorsed by President Trump and holds conservative stances, even preferring to be called “Congressman” upon entering the House. Right…
As for Arizona’s Senator elect, US Rep. Kysrten Sinema was also the first openly bisexual Congresswoman ever. The LGBTQ community can now boast at least 3 members in Congress. Sinema, however, has also been known as a more moderate Democrat, voting for President Trump’s positions 60% of the time. Yikes!
Marsha Blackburn (left) and Kyrsten Sinema (right).
First African-American Congresswoman for her State
Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts)
Pressley challenged Democratic incumbent Michael Capuano and, weeks before the primaries, was falling behind by 13 points. She ended up winning 59-41. How’s that for a shock win? After no Republican candidate even filed, she took the seat home unopposed, securing better representation for her mostly non-white district and vowing to be a staunch progressive, opposing President Trump more decisively than her predecessor.
First Muslim Congresswomen Ever
Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota)
After winning the primary with 31% of the vote, Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) also ran unopposed in the general election and secured her seat at the US House of Representatives. She’ll also be the first Palestinian-American congresswoman ever.
Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) shares this distinction as well, after beating conservative activist Jennifer Zielinski with a whopping 78% of the vote. Omar is on a roll here, since in addition to becoming one of the first Muslim Congresswomen ever, she is also the first Somali-American elected to Congress, the first Muslim former refugee to be elected to the House, and the first woman of color to represent Minnesota.
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar
First Native American Congresswomen Ever
Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) and Sharice Davids (D-Kansas)
There are currently two Native American Congressmen, but Deb Haaland (New Mexico) and Sharice Davids (Kansas) are the first women to be elected in representation of their States. Haaland will surely be defending progressive positions, so it’s good news for democracy everywhere. Nice!
As for Kansas’s Senator elect...
Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids
First openly Lesbian Congresswoman Ever
Sharice Davids (D-Kansas)
Sharice Davids will not only be one of the first two Native American Congresswoman ever, but also the first out lesbian to represent Kansas in Congress. Yay!
Not bad for the Year of the Woman.
Here's some further reading along the same lines: