Women, Muslims, Latinos & LGBT people win in US Midterm Elections

Charlene Craig
November 8, 2018

Omar, who came to the USA as a refugee, will be the first Somali-American in Congress. Democrats Sharice Davids of Kansas and Debra Haaland of New Mexico became the first Native American women elected to Congress.

"For other women, it also meant running in ways that embraced gender and race as an asset they bring to candidacy and office-holding, instead of a hurdle they have to overcome to be successful in what has been a man's world of electoral politics".

After upsetting longtime incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in the district's June primary, Ocasio-Cortez defeated Republican Anthony Pappas, a St. John's University professor in the general election.

Michigan's Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota's Ilhan Omar are the country's first Muslim women in Congress. Ayanna Pressley is Massachusetts' first Black congresswoman.

In the first major race called Tuesday night, Lou Leon Guerrero was elected as Guam's governor, becoming the first woman to do so.

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Democrats Sharice Davids, a lesbian mixed martial arts fighter, and Deb Haaland, became the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Georgia governor's race candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, was in a fierce battle to become America's first black woman governor, and Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum was bidding to become the first black governor of Florida.

The progressive challenger and member of the Democratic socialist party unseated a powerful 10-term NY congressman, running with a campaign ad that said: "Women like me aren't supposed to run for office".

Pressley, 44, was a shoo-in to win with no Republican on the ballot. Ocasio-Cortez celebrated her victory in Queens last night. Missouri's Claire McCaskill and North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp were both vulnerable as Democrats in deep red states, and a lot of people are pointing to their votes against Brett Kavanaugh as what cost them their elections. Democratic women won one Republican-held seat in IL, two in Iowa, and one in Kansas.

Idaho gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan also lost her race to become the country's first Native American governor.

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The Democrats may not have gotten quite the blue wave they were hoping for ー but for women in politics, Election Day was an indisputable success.

Ocasio-Cortez is also part of a historic number of women ― and a dramatic increase in women of colour specifically ― who won nominations in the 2018 midterms. Their lesson from the last election was that "if Donald Trump is president, anybody can be president so I should run too, for at least Congress or state legislature".

And several of the female candidates broke records of their own.

Texas is sending its first ever Hispanic women to congress, as Veronica Escobar snapped up Beto O'Rouke's old seat and state Sen.

Republican women were animated by their own issues, including fears of borders being overrun and a backlash to the #MeToo movement.

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