Women candidates win big in midterm election

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at 29 is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress

92 women have so far been elected into the US Congress on Wednesday in a make-or-break midterm elections in the United States.

For starters, there looks set to be at least 100 women in the House of Representatives for the first time, with 95 already declared winners while other races are still being counted (including a number of races where both candidates are female).

This year, women not only increased their numbers, but the new class of lawmakers also includes women from a wide patchwork of backgrounds, adding to a Congress that is expected to be more diverse.

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at her midterm election night party in New York, Nov. 6, 2018.

As first-time women candidates running in MI and IL, they were part of a surge of new Congressional candidates aiming to flip GOP-held seats in crucial swing districts. Also a Native American, Davids will join Debra Haaland of New Mexico in becoming the first Native American women in Congress.

Democrat Ilhan Omar will serve as the nation's first Somali-American Congresswoman.

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Jared Polis easily won his bid for Colorado's gubernatorial seat Tuesday night and in doing so became the first openly gay man ever elected as governor. Tammy Baldwin held off a challenge from Republican Leah Vukmir, but her fellow Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri were defeated by their Republican opponents.

For this wave of women leaders, the next few years are going to be about much more than stereotypical women's issues. After eight years in the US House, she was one of the rare high-profile Republican women seeking a promotion in a campaign year defined more by the enthusiasm of Democratic women and the proliferation of Democratic female candidates. Polis, who declared victory late Tuesday night, has always been outspoken in favour of marijuana legalisation. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., lost to Josh Hawley; Amy McGrath, a Democrat, lost a closely watched House race in Kentucky, and Sen.

Pressley was the first black woman to serve on Boston's city council and made history again after defeating the 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano in the primary. A self-styled progressive, Tlaib is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and was arrested two years ago for disrupting a Trump speech in Detroit.

Democrats nominated women in key races that helped determine control of the House. And even though a Republican Senate means that women Democrats in the House are unlikely to pass any major legislation, "I think the women will be better positioned from the perspective of stopping bad things from happening", says Walsh. As candidates, women broke the rules and upended conventional political wisdom.

"Though prominent figures like Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, failed to win their potentially historic elections, many candidates around the country became the first person of their gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation to be elected to their positions in their states, or in some cases, in the country".

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