November 6, 2018 was a historic election night for many reasons, but in particular for the groundbreaking number of victories had by many women of color running for office.
New York had a set of firsts at the federal and state level. NY voters elected Letitia James as New York’s attorney general. James had previously served for a decade as a member of the New York City Council, representing Brooklyn’s 35th Council. According to an in depth report by the New York Times, James victory as the attorney general of New York marked the first time a woman in New York is elected attorney general, the first African-American woman to be elected to statewide office and the first Black person to serve as New York’s attorney general.
More firsts occurred via New York’s voters with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In her first election at 29, she became the youngest woman elected to Congress with an easy win in New York’s 14th congressional district. Cortez previously stunned the Democratic establishment back in June when she defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley, a 10-term incumbent and chairman for the House Democratic Caucus, in the Democratic primary.
However, the historic firsts were not limited to New York.
Democrat Ayanna Pressley becme Massachusetts’ first black woman elected to Congress. Full of #BlackGirlMagic, Pressley cruised through Tuesday’s general election unopposed. Her victory is one of historical significance for the state of Massachusetts and for the nation.
Two Democratic candidates are set to become the first Muslim women to serve in Congress following their election night triumphs. Rashida Tlaib, who ran unopposed, will serve Michigan’s 17th congressional district. llhan Omar, a former refugee, will represent Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. Omar is also the first Somali-American congresswoman.
Native Americans, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, have also clinched a historic women for their community. The two became the first Native American women to serve in the House of Representatives. Davids (who is also a former MMA fighter) won the race for Kansas’ 3rd congressional district beating incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder, while Haaland won New Mexico’s 1st congressional district.
Congratulations to these and many more of the newly elected officials. We look forward to seeing what these inspiring individuals are able to accomplish in the upcoming months and years in Washington D.C. – they’ve got their work cut out for them for sure.