Tuesday night’s elections saw an influx of diversity “firsts” in the House of Representatives, ushered in by the record-breaking candidacies of women — specifically women of color — on the Democratic ticket.
In rapid succession, the House got its first two Muslim women: Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib. Omar is also the first Somali-American congresswoman, while Tlaib is the chamber’s first Palestinian-American.
Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress and will occupy the seat held by such lions as JFK and Tip O’Neill.
Jahana Hayes similarly will join the freshman class as Connecticut’s first black female representative.
Texas is sending its first ever Hispanic women to congress, as Veronica Escobar snapped up Beto O’Rouke’s old seat and state Sen. Sylvia Garcia won big in the Houston area.
Sharice Davids of Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico won their races, becoming the first Native American women in Congress. Davids racked up another distinction as the first openly LGBTQ person to represent Kansas.
The age barrier was cracked on Tuesday as well, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, 29, earning her spot as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Though a few months older than Ocasio-Cortez, Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, along with fellow candidate Cindy Axne, won a different distinction as the first women Iowa has ever sent to the House.
Women in general had a record-breaking night in the House, with more than 90 of them expected to join the House’s freshman class.