Ayanna Pressley is elected Massachusetts' first black congresswoman

Arturo Kim
November 8, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989 to a mother from Puerto Rico and a father from South Bronx, growing up in an area she described as where "your zip code determines you destiny".

She was elected to represent New York's 14th Congressional District by a landslide last night, defeating Republican candidate Anthony Pappas with 78 percent of the vote.

Neal, the dean of the Massachusetts House delegation, was first elected in 1988 and will be serving his 16th term representing the 1st Congressional District, which covers a large swath of the central and western part of the state. New Mexico Democrat Deb Haaland and Kansas Democrat Sharice Davids were elected the first two Native American women to serve in Congress.

On Tuesday night Stevens, a 35-year old who served on Obama's Auto Task Force, won her race to represent Michigan's 11th district. At 28 years old, Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Ocasio-Cortez's Democratic Socialist ideals of Medicare for all and free public college tuition have captured the attention of a younger liberal crowd. 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. This year, women tied the record for most governor's seats women have ever held - nine - a number that was previously reached in 2004 and 2007. She's also a lesbian and was among a number of of LGBTQ candidates. With the GOP in control of the Senate, Trump will have a majority to confirm his executive and judicial appointments. Democrat Janet Mills of ME and Republican Kristi Noem of South Dakota are the first women elected as governor in their state.

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It was the culmination of two years of anger, frustration and activism driven by women appalled by Donald Trump's election and presidency.

In a political season in which disgust with Washington runs high, many women hope their lack of traditional political credentials will enhance their outsider appeal: Jahana Hayes, a former teacher of the year, was a surprise victor of a Democratic House primary in CT and on Tuesday became the state's first black woman elected to Congress.

As of early Wednesday morning, 96 women were being projected to win House races, with 31 women newly elected to the House and 65 female incumbents. Several were first-time candidates.

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. Republican women like Kristi L. Noem and Marsha Blackburn, on the other hand, made history but were reluctant to mention their gender on the campaign trail, preferring to focus on issues.

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