Following the skyrocketing voter turnout on Election Day, the results are in for the 2018 midterm elections—or at least mostly. While it's clear that the Senate is now in the hands of Republicans, and the House in those of the Democrats, Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate whom Oprah Winfrey has been knocking on doors for, has refused to concede Georgia's race for governor to Republican Brian Kemp until all votes in the state, where a number of polling places malfunctioned on Election Day, have been counted. Meanwhile, in Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is still waiting to hear if she'll become the first openly bisexual senator.
Still, whether or not Abrams will join them by becoming the country's first-ever black woman governor, a significant number of candidates have already made history. Vermont may have passed over the chance to elect the country's first openly transgender governor, but Coloradans elected Jared Polis as the first openly gay man to be elected governor, opening up the scope of statewide victories. (There were also several statewide victories: Connecticut elected Democrat Will Haskell, who's all of 22 years old, rather than a Republican Senate candidate who's been in the state legislature for 22 years, and Florida passed Amendment 4, restoring the voting rights of those with a past felony conviction who make up the nine percent of its voting-age population—much to Ava DuVernay's delight.)
But perhaps the most historic victories of the night were those made collectively by women, who not only broke records by running for office, but now also have done so with their wins—and not by breaking the record of women with seats in Congress. Half a century after Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress, Native American, Latina, Muslim, and more African-American women have now officially joined her in making history. Read on for a guide to all of their unprecedented wins.
Michigan elected an unprecedented number of women.
The roles of governor, senator, attorney general and secretary of state have all been filled by women for the first time ever, with Gretchen Whitmer becoming the second woman to fill the role of governor in the state's history.
Pennsylvania upended its entirely male Congress representation.
Previously one of the 11 states with no women as their Congress representatives, Pennsylvania elected four of the record eight women on its ballot for the House of Representatives.
Tennessee elected its first-ever woman senator.
Republican Marsha Blackburn won on the platform of anti-abortion, pro-border security , following an endorsement from Donald Trump. She not only relished in her victory this morning when appearing on Fox & Friends, but also took aim at one Taylor Swift, who broke her political silence last month to strongly denounce Blackburn and endorse Democrat Phil Breseden. In the end, he ended up getting less than half as many votes as Swift's Instagram post endorsing him, leading Blackburn to share what seemed like a long-awaited pun on Fox: "Well, I hope Taylor will shake it off."
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! ???
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Congress welcomed its first-ever Muslim women.
Thanks to Michigan and Minnesota, respective Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Omar, who's advocated for undocumented immigrants, will also be Congress's first Somali-American and Muslim refugee.
Congress welcomed its first-ever Native American women.
Shortly after Kansas's Sharice Davids became the first-ever Native American woman elected to Congress, New Mexico made sure she wasn't alone by electing Deb Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe. (Davids's win also marked Kansas's first openly lesbian congresswoman.)
South Dakota, Maine, and Guam elected their first female governors.
Republican Kristi Noem claimed South Dakota, while Democrat Janet Mills won the majority in Maine. Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the majority of voters in Guam elected Lou Leo Guerrero.
Congress welcomed its youngest woman ever.
Following her overwhelming win in the New York primaries, New York, 29-year-old Democrat and Bronx native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat the past record of age 30, on the platform of "democratic socialism." The state also elected Democrat Letitia James as attorney general, making her both the first woman and the first African American to hold the role.
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Own your power. . For so many, it’s radical to feel comfortable in your own skin – and to know that you are more than enough, just as you are. . One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” . So take up space. Speak up. Hold the door open and take others with you. Accept that you will be criticized no matter what – that is the price of fighting for change and innovation. I consider constructive criticism a blueprint for improvement and a medicine for ego. . Ultimately, the people who get down, stay focused in adversity, and do the thankless work of change are the ones who transform society. We can all be a part of that, if we so choose. We can all knock a door, register our cousin to vote, or educate ourselves on an issue we’re curious about. . We are all capable of awakening and commitment. And because of that, we can all be great. . ?: @gigilaub
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Texas elected its first-ever Latina representatives to Congress.
The election of El Paso's Veronica Escobar and Houston's Sylvia Garcia helped soften the blow many felt from Ted Cruz's victory over Beto O'Rourke.
African-American women will represent Massachusetts and Connecticut in Congress for the first time ever.
Democrat Ayanna Pressley has become the first African-American woman to represent the state in Congress in Massachusetts history. Just a bit farther south on the east coast, Jahana Hayes made the same first in Connecticut.
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Related: The Best Celebrity “I Voted” Selfies and Memes From the 2018 Midterm Elections
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