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The 2018 Midterm Elections Were a Record-Breaking Achievement for Women

Nov. 6 was a big night for women in American politics. While it wasn’t the “blue wave” some had predicted, Democrats successfully flipped the House of Representatives and progressed toward more gender-balanced representation in Congress. Thanks to the 2018 midterm elections, 113 women now serve in Congress — surpassing the current record of 107 according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.  

More: 7 Women’s Health Takeaways From the Midterms

Here are the highlights that exemplify what a historic moment the 2018 midterm elections were for women.

First Muslim women elected to Congress: Ilhan Omar & Rashida Tlaib

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have become the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress. Omar, a Democratic representative for Minnesota, will serve the states’ fifth district, and Tlaib, who is also a Democrat, will serve Michigan’s 13th district, which includes parts of Detroit. 

First Native American women elected to Congress: Sharice Davids & Debra Haaland

Sharice Davids, a Kansas Democrat and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Debra Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat and member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, will soon become America’s first Native American congresswomen. Davids will also be Kansas’ first openly LGBTQ member of Congress.

First Korean-American woman elected to Congress: Young Kim

Republican Young Kim defeated her Democratic opponent, Gil Cisneros, in California on Tuesday, making her the first Korean-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Youngest woman elected to Congress: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On Tuesday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became New York’s — and the nations’ — youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Ocasio-Cortez is 29.

First female governor of Maine: Janet Mills

After serving as the state’s attorney general, Democrat Janet Mills will become Maine’s first female governor.

First female governor of South Dakota: Kristi Noem

Republican Kristi Noem made history on Tuesday when she was elected South Dakota’s first woman governor. Noem currently serves as the state’s only U.S. representative.

First Black representative in Massachusetts: Ayanna Pressley

Democrat Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first Black U.S. representative. Pressley is slated to serve the state’s seventh district. But this isn’t the first time Pressley has made history. In 2009, she became the first woman of color on the Boston City Council.

More: 12 Empowering Quotes from Women Running for Congress

First Latina representatives in Texas: Veronica Escobar & Sylvia Garcia

Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia — who will represent Texas’ 16th district and 29th district, respectively — became the first Latina representatives in the state’s history.

Texas county elects all the women of color who ran

Harris County in Houston, Texas, had 19 women of color on the ballot Tuesday night and all 19 were elected to be judges. 

Too close to call: Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams

Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is not conceding in the Georgia governor’s race, at least not yet. At the time of publication, the race remained too close to call. That said, if Abrams wins, she will become Georgia’s first Black female governor.

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