Women will be going to Congress in historic numbers after Tuesday’s midterm elections, with some winning key gubernatorial races as well.
Some were expected, such as Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn becoming the first woman to win a seat in the Senate there, beating back former governor and Democrat Phil Bredesen.
Also expected was a wave of Democratic women winning seats that helped the party regain control of the House of Representatives.
Those wins included the first two Native American women to win seats in Congress — Sharice Davids in Kansas and Deb Haaland in New Mexico — along with the first two Muslim women to win seats, Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota.
Veronica Escobar became the first Hispanic woman to win a congressional seat in Texas, replacing Beto O’Rourke, who left the spot to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz.
In New York, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, at age 29, became the youngest woman elected to Congress.
In all, 31 women will take seats in the House for the first time, coupled with 65 who retained their seats, for 96 altogether, beating the old congressional record of 85 for women in the chamber, CNN reported.
One more woman will be added to the Senate — either Republican Martha McSally or Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona. McSally leads a race that was too close to call Wednesday with “thousands” of ballots still to count in the race to replace Sen. Jeff Flake.
Democratic women scored some victories in gubernatorial races, as well.
While much of the nation’s attention was focused on the Georgia gubernatorial race, where Stacey Abrams trailed Brian Kemp in a too-close-to-call race, Laura Kelly’s victory in Kansas was one that few saw coming.
Kelly, a Democrat, was within the margin of error in recent polls against Kansas’ secretary of state Kris Kobach, but Kobach led in early all of those surveys and had the backing of President Donald Trump in a solidly red state.
Kobach was considered hyper-partisan and his effort to take his voter fraud crusade nationally fell flat when Trump abandoned a commission looking into the matter earlier this year. Kelly won with 47.8 percent of the vote to Kobach’s 43.3. Independent Greg Orman played spoiler, capturing 6.5 percent.
“Today, Kansans voted for change,” Kelly said in her victory speech, the Topeka Capitol-Journal reported. “A change not only in the direction of our state, but a change in tone. We chose to put people before politics. … Partisanship was put above all else and it tore our state apart. That ended today.”
In Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer returned the governor’s seat to the Democrats in a win that was expected over Republican Bill Schuette, winning 53.2 percent of the vote to 44 percent. More importantly, Michigan is a state won by Trump and will need to hold on to 2020 for re-election.
Republican Kristi Noem captured the South Dakota governor’s race, becoming the first woman win there, beating Democrat Billie Sutton.
Election Day: Americans line up to vote
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum surrounded by wife R. Jai Gillum (R) and running mate Chris King (C) gives his concession speech to supporters in Tallahassee, Fla. Republican Candidate Ron DeSantis defeated Gillum in the Florida governor race. Photo By Joe Reilly/UPI | License Photo
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson supporters react after the announcement of Ron DeSantis defeating Andrew Gillum for governor of the state of Florida at the Nelson watch party in Orlando, Fla. The results of the Bill Nelson, Rick Scott senator race is still pending. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson’s senior advisor Dan McLaughlin announces that Bill Nelson would make a statement the following day on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 . Rick Scott was declared the winner of the Florida senate race. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. delivers her concession speech to supporters, failing at her re-election campaign to Josh Hawley, the current Attorney General for the State of Missouri in St. Louis. McCaskill was the Democratic Senator for the State of Missouri for 12 years. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
McCaskill (L) gives husband Joe a kiss after conceding. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
McCaskill leaves the stage with her family. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
A Claire McCaskill campaign worker cries as the Senator gives a concession speech. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is joined by House Democrats as they arrive to speak to volunteers and supporters. House Democrats will be in the majority in the next Congress, and Republicans retained control of the Senate in the 2018 Midterm Elections. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez (R) shakes hands with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Ben Ray Lujan during the watch party. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Perez makes remarks to volunteers and supporters at the watch party. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Democratic volunteers and supporters react to early Democratic House gains at a watch party in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., (R) joins hands with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chair Ben Ray Lujan after addressing a watch party in Washington, DC. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., talks to reporters prior to joining volunteers and supporters for a watch party in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Democratic volunteers and supporters watch early election returns at a watch party in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson supporters cheer after early results are posted for Nelson at a watch party in Orlando, Fla. Republican Rick Scott is running against Nelson. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
A service member marks his ballot at Edison High School in Alexandria, Va. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Voters line up to mark their ballots at Hybla Valley School polling place in Alexandria, Va. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
A voter marks his ballot at Groveton Elementary School in Alexandria, Va. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Florida residents cast their ballots at a fire station in Miami. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Florida residents line up to cast their ballot. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Democratic nominee for New York’s 14th congressional district Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez casts her vote in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, casts her vote. If she wins, she will be the youngest woman in Congress. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gives an update on the election alongside Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A woman shows a young boy how to fill out a ballot as she votes in the 2018 midterm elections at Loudon County High School in Leesburg, Va. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A voter is seen through a window at a polling location for the midterm elections in Leesbugh, Va. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A voter fills out his ballot for the midterm elections. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Jennifer Wexton (R), Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives leaves her polling place after casting her ballot in Leesburg, Va. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Wexton is running against Republican Barbara Comstock. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A volunteer hands out voting stickers. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Across the United States, 435 seats in the House and 35 in the Senate are being settled Tuesday. Also, 36 gubernatorial races will be determined. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A woman fills out her ballot in Virginia. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
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