The 2018 midterm elections were game-changing on many fronts. A record number of candidates filed to run for different political positions, and approximately 39 million Americans voted early.
Congress’s makeup shifted dramatically, with Democrats winning a majority of seats in the House of Representatives and Republicans holding the majority in the Senate.
Beyond these changes, however, stand the historic elections of a diverse set of candidates, among them the first female Native American elected to Congress, the first Muslim women elected to Congress and America’s first openly gay governor.
Here’s a really short rundown of the history made on Tuesday, Nov. 4th, 2019:
- Jahana Hayes became the first black woman elected to represent Connecticut in the House. She is a former high school teacher.
- U.S. Representative Kyrsten Sinema not only became Arizona’s first Democratic senator in 30 years but also America’s first openly bisexual senator.
- Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress at 29 years old.
- Sharice Davids of Kansas, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo tribe, both became the first Native American women elected to Congress. Davids, an attorney and former MMA fighter, is also the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent Kansas in Congress.
- Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota joined Rashida Tlaib of Michigan as the first-ever Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib, a former refugee, is also the first Somali-American women in Congress and the first Congress member to wear a hijab.
- U.S. representative Jared Polis of Colorado will be America's first-ever openly gay male governor.
- Ayanna Pressley will become the first Black member of the House representing Massachusetts.