The New Faces of Congress


Last night was a big night for Democrats and the election of more than 117 women was a huge step toward making Capitol Hill a bit more representative, though there’s still a long way to go.  

Here are the highlights:

12 women won Senate seats, 9 women won gubernatorial races, and 96 won seats in the House.

The women elected to Congress mark several milestones for the gender divide and also for a more diverse representation of the population.  Among the 96 women elected to the House, there were several trailblazing Muslim, Native American, and Hispanic women. 

 

In New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham will serve as the first Democratic Latina governor.

Ilhan Omar won in Minnesota’s District 5, making her the first Muslim woman elected to the House.

And one race stands out above all the others: the victory of Sharice Davids in her House bid. Not only will Davids be the first democrat to represent Kansas’s 3rd District in a decade, she will be the first LGBTQ Native American to represent the state.

“We have the opportunity to reset expectations about what people think when they think of Kansas,” Davids said during her victory speech at the Embassy Suites in Olathe, a suburb of Kansas City.  “We know there are so many of us who welcome everyone, who see everyone and who know that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed.”

 

Davids, an attorney, is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a tribe from Wisconsin, and was raised by a single mother who served in the military for 20 years.  Davids has a law degree from Cornell and has been a professional kickboxer since 2013. She was also a White House fellow under the Obama administration.

“Davids campaigned on a platform of affordable healthcare and quality public education. She has called out gun violence and certain tax credits, and voiced support for abortion rights and an expansion of Medicare.” – Newsweek

The election of Sharice Davids shows just how unpopular President Trump is in the Kansas City suburbs. Her Republican opponent, incumbent Kevin Yoder, is a household name in the GOP and liked by Trump. Just this year, Yoder was appointed as the chair of the Homeland Security budget committee, in charge of overseeing the funding for the border wall.

“Davids’ campaign benefited from anger against Republican President Donald Trump in a district that went for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the previous election, but she also took steps to engage voters that had felt ignored by previous Democratic nominees to pull off a victory that may have seemed improbable a year ago.” (The Kansas City Star)

Women made up 52% of yesterday’s overall electorate and an overwhelming majority voted Democratic. The dramatic increase in the number of women elected last night shows that if the Democratic party continues to target female voters in 2020, the tide might turn against President Donald Trump.

 





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