Midterm elections: Women, ethnic minorities and the LGBT+ community make history

Lowenna Waters
Wednesday 07 November 2018 10:45
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The results from the midterm elections are in - and the Democrats have won the House of Representatives, despite the fact the Republicans maintain the Senate.

The elections have also seen considerable gains for marginalised groups, including the first ever openly gay male governor; the first Muslim women elected to Congress; a record number of women in Congress; and the first Native American women elected to Congress.

These strides forwards are history-making, and mark considerable progress for marginalised communities in the United States.

Here, we round-up the historic wins.

1. Record number of women win house seats in the midterms.

A record number of women have been elected to the House of Representatives in this year's midterm elections. As of early Wednesday morning, at least 100 female House candidates were on course to win their races, comparing to the current record of 84 women, who currently hold positions in the House, reports the Financial Times.

Democratic women were also responsible for picking off a number of Republican incumbents, and of the 29 seats Democrats had claimed by early Wednesday, 18 were won by female candidates.

2. First openly gay man elected as governor.

It wasn't only an historic night for women and people of colour, there was also progress made for the LGBT+ community. Colorado Democratic representative Jared Polis' bid for governor was successful, making him the first ever openly gay member of Congress and the first openly gay man elected governor.

The first ever openly LGBT+ person to be elected governor was Oregon Democratic governor Kate Brown, who identifies as bisexual, and former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, who came out as gay just before he stepped down from office in 2000, reports CNN.

3. First Native American women elected.

Again, and unsurprisingly, it's Democratic members who are breaking the mould. This time, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland become the first ever Native American women elected to Congress, with Haaland replacing the New Mexico Democratic representative Michelle Lujan Grisham, who vacated the seat to run for governor, and Davids replacing Republican Kevin Yoder in Kansas.

Davids also makes history by being openly lesbian, making her the first openly LGBT+ member of Congress from Kansas.

4. First Muslim women elected.

Michigan Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party became the first ever Muslim women to be elected to Congress, both following primaries victories which effectively divided their races last year.

Omar, in addition to being the first Muslim woman in Congress, will also be the first Somali-American member, reports CNN. She also came to the US over two decades ago as a refugee. Two other Muslim candidates have been voted to the House, however they're both men who are currently in office: Keith Ellison and Indiana Democratic representative Andre Carson.

5. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes the youngest woman ever elected to the US Congress.

Democratic rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history in the midterms, becoming the youngest ever woman elected to Congress. The 29-year-old defeated Republican Joe Crowley in New York's 14th Congressional District.

No other woman in her twenties has ever been elected to Congress, and unsurprisingly people were quick to share their jubilation on Twitter:

6. Women of colour make historic gains.

Women of colour also made historic gains in the midterms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest women ever elected to Congress; Ilhan Omar became the first Somali American elected to Congress; Ayanna Pressley became the first Black congresswoman from Massachusetts; and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim congresswoman to name but a few.

People were quick to celebrate such historic gains, with Twitter user Adrienne Mahsa outlining the main accomplishments on her account:

HT CNN

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