US voters send record-breaking number of women to House
Rick Loomis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A record number of women were elected to Congress on Tuesday night as an unprecedented number of female candidates ran for the first time.
At least 101 women will be elected to the House of Representatives, with 86 Democrats and 15 Republicans joining the chamber, according to early projections. Thirty-four seats still were undecided as of early Wednesday morning.
The figure marks an all-time high for the number of women in the House, but the results could fluctuate as more precincts report.
It was also a historic night for first-time female candidates, with several political newbies flipping GOP-held congressional seats, according to ABC News’ analysis.
Political novice Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, claimed victory in Kansas and would be the state’s first Native American Congresswoman. Davids is also slated to become the Sunflower State’s first openly LGBT congressional representative. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American, also won a resounding victory in Minnesota.
“We have the opportunity to reset expectations about what people think when they think of Kansas,” Davids in her victory speech. “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.”
Voters in Virginia, New Jersey and Florida were among those contributing to a historic election, choosing at least eight first-time female candidates for Congress. Many of the first-time winners, including Davids, New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill and Florida’s Donna Shalala, helped upset the political order in districts where Republicans had held seats.
“Together, we mobilized — to stand up for a platform of common-sense gun reform, support for higher education, environmental protection and affordable healthcare,” Shalala, a former Health and Human Services secretary in the Clinton administration, tweeted in the wake of her victory over Maria Elvira Salazar.
“Until every child has a fair shot at a higher education, we’re not done,” she added. “Until this heartless administration is held accountable for their numerous injustices, we will not stop.”
Female candidates also made inroads in a handful of gubernatorial races. Women were projected to win in eight races, one shy of the current record. An additional three are running in races ABC News hasn’t projected yet: Georgia, New Hampshire and Maine.
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