Midterms see near-record number of women and minorities elected to office

Published
On Tuesday GOP Rep. Kristi Noem was elected the first female governor of South Dakota. (twitter.com/KristiNoem/media)

WASHINGTON – Tuesday’s midterm elections saw a near-record number of women and minorities elected to state and federal offices.

Below is a snapshot of some of those races:

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) was elected the first openly gay governor in the nation. He will also serve as Colorado’s first Jewish governor.  Polis, 43, is an outspoken progressive and has served in Congress since 2009. He defeated Republican State Treasurer Walker Stapleton in the gubernatorial contest.

Rep. Kristi Noem (R) was elected the first female governor of South Dakota. Noem, 46, is a staunch conservative and has served in Congress since 2011. She defeated Democrat Billie Sutton in the gubernatorial contest.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) became the first elected female to lead the Hawkeye state on Tuesday. Reynolds won a term in her own right after having succeeded then-Gov. Terry Branstad (R) last year. Branstad left the state house to accept an appointment by President Donald Trump to serve as ambassador to China.

Former National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes (D) was elected the first African-American-female member of the Connecticut congressional delegation. Hayes, 45, defeated Republican State Rep. Manny Santos in the contest for the fifth congressional district. Hayes will succeed retiring Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D).

Democrats Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress on Tuesday. Tlaib, 42, is a attorney and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She is of Palestinian descent. Omar, 37, is a member of the Minnesota legislature. She was born in Somalia.

Democrats Sharice Davids (Kan.) and Deb Haaland (N.M.) became the first Native-American women elected to Congress on Tuesday. Davids, 38, is an attorney. Haaland, 57, is the former chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) was elected the first female to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate. Blackburn, 66, is a staunch conservative and has served in Congress since 2003. She defeated Democrat Phil Bredesen in Tuesday’s contest. Bredesen previously served as Tennessee governor and Nashville mayor.

Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) was elected the first female to represent Nevada in the U.S. Senate. Rosen, 61, has served in Congress since 2017. She narrowly defeated GOP Sen. Dean Heller in Tuesday’s contest. Rosen, who served as president of a Las Vegas-area synagogue prior to seeking elective office, is the second person of Jewish faith elected to represent Nevada in the Senate.

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