In Texas, former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar and State Senator Sylvia Garcia, both Democrats, became the first Latinas elected to represent the state in Congress. The Houston Chronicle reported that Garcia said in her victory remarks Tuesday night, “It’s very exciting to be elected and to have the opportunity to serve the working people of my district and Houston. I never focus on being the first, but on being the best for my people.”
Kansas did Election Day so good it made Ann Coulter think it died. Among those victories, Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, won her House race to become the first Native American woman to serve in Congress. She is also the first openly gay person to represent the state of Kansas ever, according to the Kansas City Star. In winning she has unseated the incumbent GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder. An hour after Davids’ win, Deb Haaland, a tribal member of the Pueblo of Laguna, won a House seat in New Mexico, thus joining Davids in the distinction of being one of the first Native American women elected to Congress. Both are Democrats.
Democrat Ilhan Omar became one of the first Muslim women elected to the House when she handily won her election for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, which Keith Ellison previously represented. Omar is a 36-year-old Somali-American who immigrated to the United States as a teenager. Vox reports that Ilhan’s platform includes a $15 minimum wage, Medicare-for-All, and tuition-free college. Below is a clip from her victory speech Tuesday night in which she proclaims “Here in Minnesota we don’t only welcome immigrants, we send them to Washington.”
Rashida Tlaib will also be one of the first Muslim women in Congress since she won her race for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. Tlaib, a former state representative, also supports raising the minimum wage, Medicare-for-All, and tuition-free college.
Jared Polis became the first openly gay person elected governor in America when he won his race in Colorado. Polis has served as a Democrat in the House since 2009; his platform includes Medicare-for-All, repeal of the death penalty, and universal preschool and kindergarten. And, as his website proudly attests, “Jared is the only candidate running for governor who supported and voted to legalize recreational marijuana in Colorado.”
In Massachusetts, Ayanna Pressley officially won her race for the 7th Congressional District, becoming the first black woman to represent the state in Congress. Pressley ran uncontested in the general after unseating Democratic incumbent Mike Capuano in September’s Democratic primary. In New York, Letitia James won her race to become the state’s first black Attorney General.