The midterms saw a lot of firsts for Congress and governorships. The first Native American women were elected to Congress in New Mexico and Kansas. The first Muslim women were elected in Minnesota and Michigan. The first openly-gay Governor was elected in Colorado. Record numbers of all three groups ran for office in 2018. Some notable losses included what would have been the first trans, African American, and Native American Governors. There were many firsts on the state level as well.
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America’s 116th Congress is going to include some prominent firsts — and several governors’ races made history this midterm, too.
The U.S. has ushered in its first Native American and Muslim congresswomen, its first lesbian mom in Congress and the first openly gay man elected as a state’s governor. South Dakota and Maine elected their first female governors, Tennessee and Arizona sent their first women to the Senate and Massachusetts and Connecticut elected their first-ever black women to the House.
As NPR has previously reported, record numbers of Native Americans, Muslim Americans and women, including many women of color, ran for office in 2018. A “rainbow wave” of LGBTQ candidates also sought office. And after the ballots were cast, all those groups notched notable firsts.
No, voters did not elect the first Native American governor (Paulette Jordan lost in Idaho) or the first openly transgender governor (Christine Hallquist lost in Vermont). And in Georgia, Stacey Abrams’ bid to be the country’s first-ever black woman governor is still up in the air — Secretary of State Brian Kemp has a slim lead, but Abrams has not conceded and is pushing for a runoff.
But here are some of the winning candidates who made history on Tuesday: