A List Of Firsts For Women In This Year's Midterm Elections
Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET Thursday
With women making up only 20 percent of Congress, there are many types of women — especially women of color — who have never been represented on Capitol Hill. The record-breaking wave of female candidates in 2018 comes with a list of firsts among those women. Here's a list of some of those firsts, which we will keep updating as results come in.
First Muslim women: Democrat Rashida Tlaib, in Michigan's 13th District, and Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, from that state's 5th District, both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress tonight. Tlaib will also be the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress.
Youngest woman: Twenty-nine-year-old Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress, in New York's 14th District. The woman currently holding that distinction is Rep. Elise Stefanik, also from New York, who was elected in 2014 at age 30.
Still another under-30 women was elected this year — Democrat Abby Finkenauer, in Iowa's 1st District, who is also 29. However, she will turn 30 in December, so Ocasio-Cortez will still be younger when the new Congress begins in January.
First Native American women: Democrat Sharice Davids won the House seat from Kansas' 3rd District, unseating incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder, and Democrat Deb Haaland won the seat in an open race in New Mexico's 1st District. That makes both of them the first Native American women elected to Congress.
First black woman from Massachusetts: Democrat Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, in that state's 7th District. She unseated incumbent Democrat Mike Capuano in a surprise upset in September.
First women House members from Iowa: Democrat Abby Finkenauer in Iowa's 1st District defeated Republican incumbent Rod Blum, and Democrat Cindy Axne in the state's 3rd District defeated Republican incumbent David Young to become the Hawkeye state's first two women elected to the House. Iowa elected its first woman to the Senate in 2014 — Republican Joni Ernst.
First Latina Congress members from Texas: Democrat Veronica Escobar, in the state's 16th District, and Democrat Sylvia Garcia, in the state's 29th District, will be the first Latinas to represent the state in Congress, according to the Texas Tribune.
First woman governor of Maine: Democrat Janet Mills defeated Republican Shawn Moody and will become the first woman governor in that state.
First woman elected governor of Iowa: Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds became the first woman elected governor of Iowa. She served as lieutenant governor of the state from 2011 through 2017, then became governor when then-Gov. Terry Branstad was appointed ambassador to China for the Trump administration in 2017.
First woman senator from Tennessee: Republican Marsha Blackburn defeated Democrat Phil Bredeson and will be the first woman to serve as a Senator from the Volunteer State.
First woman governor from South Dakota: Republican Rep. Kristi Noem defeated Democrat Billie Sutton to become the first woman elected governor from South Dakota.
First woman senator from Arizona: Republican Rep. Martha McSally currently holds a slight lead over Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in a too-close-to-call race for Arizona's open Senate seat. Whichever candidate wins will be the first woman to represent Arizona in the Senate.
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