With women making up only 20 percent of Congress, there are many types of women — especially women of color — who have never been represented on Capitol Hill. The record-breaking wave of female candidates in 2018 comes with a list of firsts among those women. Here’s a list of some of those firsts, which we will keep updating as results come in.
First Muslim women: Democrat Rashida Tlaib, in Michigan’s 13th District, and Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, from that state’s 5th District, both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress tonight. Tlaib will also be the first Palestinian-American to serve in Congress.
Youngest woman: Twenty-nine-year-old Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress, in New York’s 14th District. The woman currently holding that distinction is Rep. Elise Stefanik, also from New York, who was elected in 2014 at age 30.
Still more under-30 women could be elected this year — Democrat Abby Finkenauer, in Iowa’s 1st District, who is also 29. However, she will turn 30 in December, so Ocasio-Cortez would still be younger when the new Congress begins in January. In addition, 26-year-old Republican Morgan Murtaugh is running in California’s 53rd District.
First Native American women: Democrat Sharice Davids won the House seat from Kansas’ 3rd District, unseating incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder, and Democrat Deb Haaland won the seat in an open race in New Mexico’s 1st District. That makes both of them the first Native American women elected to Congress.
First black woman from Massachusetts: Democrat Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, in that state’s 7th District. She unseated incumbent Democrat Mike Capuano in a surprise upset in September.