Midterms 2018: Firsts for women in the US House

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at 29 is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress

Tuesday night's elections saw an influx of diversity "firsts" in the House of Representatives, ushered in by the record-breaking candidacies of women - specifically women of color - on the Democratic ticket.

US Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican representing upstate NY, was previously the youngest woman when she was elected in 2014 at age 30. Although there are still crucial votes to count, Democrats have secured the House of Representatives for the first time in nearly a decade while the GOP retains control of the Senate.

Women hold 23 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats, and this year 23 women are on the ballot for the chamber.

A record number of women were elected to the House on Tuesday, almost two years after women spilled out into the streets of Washington and in cities across the country in defiance of the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The House will gain two Latina congresswomen from Texas, the Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia.

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Tlaib, 42, became the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature in 2008.

Democrat Ayanna Pressley completed her quest to become Massachusetts' first black woman elected to Congress.

At 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis handily defeated Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton in the Colorado governor's race Tuesday, becoming the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the United States.

Most Americans say women running in record numbers for Congress is a good thing, but there's less consensus about whether they think things will change with more women in office, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

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Ten women already in the Senate are not up for re-election.

Democrats were galvanized by #MeToo movement, which helped attract female voters and recruit more women to run for office. Flake is scheduled to give a talk at the Forbes 30 under 30 event in Boston after recently calling for a one week pause in the confirmation process to give the Federal Bureau of Investigation more time to investigate sexual assault allegations. Tlaib, a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives, faced two opponents in the race: Green Party candidate D. Etta Wilcoxon and Working Class Party candidate Sam Johnson.

But as many more women ran, it was perhaps inevitable that many more would lose, as well.

Ocasio-Cortez is also part of a historic number of women ― and a dramatic increase in women of colour specifically ― who won nominations in the 2018 midterms. In five states - Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Washington and Wisconsin - female candidates challenged sitting female senators.

The House candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley of NY, who is expected to lose her race, made history as the first woman to spend federal campaign funds on childcare.

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Republican Marsha Blackburn won a gruelling, expensive contest to become the first female USA senator from Tennessee. According to data compiled by The Associated Press, 237 women ran for the House as major-party candidates this year.

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