Midterms Usher Wave Of Young, Democratic Women Of Color Into House

Scott Eisen/Getty Images North America

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.

Ilhan Omar, congresswoman-elect for Minnesota’s 5th district.
Rashida Tlaib, congresswoman-elect for Michigan’s 13th district.

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.

Ayanna Pressley, congresswoman-elect for Massachusetts’ 7th district.

Jahana Hayes similarly will join the freshman class as Connecticut’s first black female representative.

On Tuesday, May 3 outside of the West Wing of The White House, 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes, answeres questions from reporters. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto)
Jahana Hayes, congresswoman-elect for Connecticut’s 5th district.

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.

Veronica Escobar, congresswoman-elect in Texas’ 16th district.
Sylvia Garcia, congresswoman-elect in Texas’ 29th district.

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.

OLATHE, KS - NOVEMBER 06: Democratic candidate for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District Sharice Davids speaks to supporters during an election night party on November 6, 2018 in Olathe, Kansas. Davids defeated incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)
Sharice Davids, congresswoman-elect for Kansas’ 3rd district.
Deb Haaland, congresswoman-elect for New Mexico’s 1st district.

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.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates her victory La Boom night club in Queens on November 6, 2018 in New York City. With her win against Republican Anthony Pappas, Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, congresswoman-elect for New York’s 14th district.

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.

Abby Finkenauer, congresswoman-elect for Iowa’s 1st district.
Cindy Axne, congresswoman-elect for Iowa’s 3rd district.

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.

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