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Women of the 2018 Midterm Elections

2018 Midterm Elections 101: The Women Who Made History

Last night, a diverse array of candidates awaited the results of their efforts to break barriers and change the future of politics. The hard work paid off for many of them. Women—particularly women of color— made history last night in 2018 midterm elections!

If you have spent anytime online, watching television, or listening to the radio today, it’s likely that this isn’t the first you’ve heard of the big historical “firsts” that women in politics had last night. But do you know who these sheroes are and what they accomplished specifically?

Here’s the quick and dirty on the 13 women who made history last night. Don’t worry, we’ll be sharing more informative articles on these awesome women in the weeks and months to come, but this rundown will get you up to speed now.

2018 Midterm Elections, Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez, Feminism

photo: Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez via fb

Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez

Last night, at the age of 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress in New York’s 14th district. She is a member of the Democratic socialist party and ran with a campaign slogan that boldly declared, “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.”

Sharice Davids, feminism, Kansas

photo: Sharice Davids via fb

Sharice Davids

A Democrat running for Kansas’ 3rd District House seat, Sharice Davids became the first Native American congresswoman. But that’s not all, she is also the first lesbian congresswoman from Kansas!

2018 midterm elections, Debra Haaland, Feminism

photo: Debra Haaland via fb

Debra Haaland

Deb Haaland has an impressive history of political accomplishments including becoming the first Native American woman to chair a state political party. Last night, Haaland—a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe—won the House seat in New Mexico’s 1st District becoming the first Native American congresswoman alongside Sharice Davids.

Rashida Tlaib, feminism

photo: Rashida Tlaib via fb

Rashida Tlaib

A Democrat, Rashida Tlaib won the House seat in Michigan’s 13th District to become the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress. She is also one of two women to proudly earn becoming the first Muslim women elected.

2018 Midterm Elections

photo: Ilhan Omar via fb

Ilhan Omar

Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar is a former refugee who has served as a state legislator for the last four years. Last night she became the first Somali-American in Congress and joins Tlaib as one of the first Muslim women elected.

2018 Midterm Elections, womanist, Ayanna Pressly

photo: Ayanna Pressly via fb

Ayanna Pressly

Pressly is likely getting used to being “the first” as she was the first black woman to serve on Boston’s city council. Last night she became the first black member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts.

2018 Midterm Elections, feminist, Jahana Hayes

photo: Jahana Hayes via fb

Jahana Hayes

This first-time political candidate won the race to represent Connecticut’s 5th congressional district. Last night she became the first black woman to represent the state in Congress.

2018 Midterm Elections, Janet Mills

photo: Janet Mills via fb

Janet Mills

Democrat, Janet Mills, was elected Maine’s first female governor last night. She formerly acted as the state’s attorney general.

2018 Midterm Elections, Abby Finkenauer

photo: Abby Finkenauer via fb

Abby Finkenauer

Unseating Republican Rod Blum in Iowa, Abby Finkenauer became the first woman elected to Congress from Iowa. At 29, she is also one of the youngest people to ever be elected to the house.

2018 midterm elections

photo: Veronica Escobar via fb

2018 Midterm Elections

photo: Sylvia Garcia via fb

Veronica Escobar & Sylvia Garcia

Both Democrats, Escobar and Garcia simultaneously became the first Latinas to represent the state of Texas in Congress. Escobar won the State’s 16th district and Garcia won the 29th district. 

2018 midterm elections

photo: Marsha Blackburn via fb

Marsha Blackburn

A Republican, Marsha Blackburn became the first female senator in Tennessee when she won the state’s 7th congressional district House seat.

midterm elections, feminist

photo: Kim Reynolds via fb

Kim Reynolds

Last night Reynolds became the first woman elected as governor in the state of Iowa. A Republican, she served as lieutenant governor of the state for 6 years prior to last night’s election.

Feature Image: Gillian Laub via Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fb

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Annette Benedetti
Annette Benedetti
Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.
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