Everyday Heroes

Women And LGBTQ Candidates Make History In 2018 Midterms

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2018 midterms

Image: Twitter / @VOANews

The country held its 2018 midterms yesterday, and while some results are still trickling in (and others are being contested), we can say definitively that it was a pretty banner day for democracy. The Democratic party regained control of the House of Representatives after being locked out in 2016. The GOP retained control of the Senate. Blue candidates in historically red states put up some incredibly impressive numbers. And a record 113 million people cast their vote in this election! It the first midterm in history to exceed 100 million votes. An impressive 49% of eligible voters turned out, signaling a major change of tide.

But voter turnout wasn’t the only reason the 2018 midterms made history. Yesterday’s election saw a record number of women voted into power, along with a few other historical firsts. The first Muslim women were elected yesterday, as were the first Native American women. Additionally, voters elected the first openly gay man to serve as governor. It was a pretty big day.

There were some hard-fought contests decided by the 2018 midterms. And while some early favorites fell short, there is plenty to celebrate.

A record number of women won their House races yesterday, with 96 projected winners. 31 women were newly elected to the House, while 65 incumbents held onto their seats. The previous record was 85 women, which we smashed to pieces.

Among those newly elected women are the first Native American women to ever be elected to Congress. Democrat Sharice Davids, of the Ho-Chink Nation, won in Kansas’ 3rd district, making her one of the first Native women, as well as Kansas’ first openly gay representative. Deb Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, locked down her seat in New Mexico not long after.

History was made again last night, when the first Muslim women were elected to Congress.

Ilhan Omar of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib will become the first Muslim women in Congress when they take their seats in January. Omar came to America as a Somali refugee more than twenty years ago, and fills the seat vacated by Keith Ellison (the first Muslim ever elected to Congress). Tlaib won her primary after Rep. John Conyers vacated his seat amidst accusations of sexual misconduct, and she cruised to victory last night.

Colorado elected Democratic Rep. Jared Polis to the governorship, making him the first openly gay man to serve as governor.

In 2018, it shouldn’t be a big deal, but we all know how huge this win is for the LGBTQ community. Oregon’s governor Kate Brown, who won reelection last night and identifies as bisexual, became the first openly gay person elected governor in 2014.

The 2018 midterms may not have been the huge wave that was predicted, but it made some pretty big waves nonetheless. The tide is changing, just in time to buckle down for 2020.