This year’s U.S. midterm elections, held November 4, created a number of historic firsts for women. Midterm elections, when U.S. voters decide on candidates running for congressional seats as well as many state and local offices, are held midway through a president’s four-year tenure.
The millions of Americans who voted focused on choosing individual candidates. In making those decisions, though, they also made history for women in U.S. politics.
Women’s Place in the House and Senate
The number of women in Congress reached the century mark for the first time: Alma Adams won an election in North Carolina to become the 100th female member of Congress. Currently, 20 women serve in the Senate, with the remainder in the House of Representatives.
Woman Power in Both Major Political Parties
The first black Republican woman elected to Congress is Utah’s Mia Love. She is the child of Haitian immigrants and a mother of three children. Previously, Love served as mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. Once sworn in, she will represent Utah’s 4th Congressional District in the House of Representatives in Washington.
A Win for Women and for LGBT People
America’s first openly gay state attorney general was elected: Massachusetts voters selected openly gay lawyer Maura Healey as their state’s top lawyer. The 43-year-old graduate of Harvard University has a long record of defending women’s rights in the state.
Young, Ambitious and Ready to Serve
Elise Stefanik is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress: New Yorkers voted for the 30-year-old politician and Harvard University graduate, sending her to the House of Representatives in Washington. Prior to Stefanik, Elizabeth Holtzman, also from New York, was elected to Congress at the age of 31 in 1973. She stayed for four terms.