Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat rock star makes history

Leroy Wright
November 8, 2018

Only one candidate for Congress this year is younger: Republican Morgan Murtaugh, who is running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Susan Davis in San Diego, California.

"I am so honoured to share both the ballot and the stage with the many visionary, bold women who have raised their hand to run for public office", said Ayanna Pressley, who became the first black woman elected to Congress from MA. They will join four other female veterans now serving in Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez, a Boston University graduate who worked for the late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, defeated Democratic US Representative Joe Crowley in a party primary earlier this year.

After Tuesday's elections, a record number of women will serve in Congress come January 2019.

A number of women have also achieved significant firsts in their states, including Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia who become the first Latina Congresswomen in Texas, and Alyanna Pressley from MA, becoming her state's first black representative in Congress.

Going into the midterm elections, 19 per cent of the Governor, Senate and House seats were held by women.

Omar is a former Somali refugee who spent the last four years as a state legislator pushing a progressive agenda, including a US$15 minimum wage and subsidising higher education costs for low-income students. Davids is also Kansas' first openly gay statewide representative.

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According to Guardian, winners of seats in the House include Latina congresswomen from Texas, the Democrats' Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, while Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of MI will be the first Muslim congresswomen. They include veterans, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative, a teacher who grew up the daughter of a drug addict, a one-time bartender and dozens of first-time candidates.

Around 80 per cent of the women candidates in this election were defending their seats, and around 70 per cent held them.

Deb Haaland, also a Native American, was also elected a congresswoman. The vast majority of women elected are Democrats.

There was also a historic gender gap that showed women more supportive of Democrats than Republicans.

Polis is also the state's first Jewish governor.

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.

According to data compiled by The Associated Press, 237 women ran for the House as major-party candidates this year. 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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