Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins Election In a Landslide

Ayanna Pressley

- Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer: Iowa's first women in the U.S. House.

"This is truly the year of the woman everywhere", Tom Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said at an election night party in Washington as results trickled in on Tuesday night.

Half a century ago this week, New York's Shirley Chisholm was elected the first black woman in Congress, and several of the black women elected Tuesday have said their campaigns were inspired by her example. Of the House winners, 42 identify as non-white, as does one of the Senate winners.

- Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar: America's first Muslim women in Congress. Tlaib ran unopposed in the general election, all but guaranteeing the former MI state legislator a seat in Congress. Omar is already a barrier breaker - in 2016, she became the first Somali American legislator in the country.

Only two other Muslims have been elected to Congress, and both are men now in office: Ellison and Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson.

Republican Kristi Noem beat out Democrat Billie Sutton in the unexpectedly close South Dakota governor's race, and she will be sworn in next year as the first woman elected to the state's highest office. Their lesson from the last election was that "if Donald Trump is president, anybody can be president so I should run too, for at least Congress or state legislature".

Representing Minnesota, she will be the first Congress member to wear a hijab or head scarf. She immigrated to the United States at age 12, teaching herself English by watching American TV and eventually settling with her family in Minneapolis, home to the world's largest Somali population outside of East Africa.

There are now more women governors, as well.


In victory speeches across the country, women acknowledged the groundbreaking year. We don't back down when something is challenging.

Tennessee gained the state's first woman in the Senate as Marsha Blackburn defeated former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Democratic Colorado Governor-elect Jared Polis arrives onstage with running mate Dianne Primavera on November 6, 2018 in Denver.

All across the country, female candidates ran for office and won in record numbers. In Kansas, Sharice Davids, a Democrat running in a suburban Kansas City district, will become one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, and the first openly LGBT person to represent Kansas at the federal level. Davids' win in Kansas against GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder was a pickup for Democrats, which projects to gain control of the House. 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.

Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Haaland is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, according to their respective campaigns.

Prior to learning of her victory, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, thanking her supporters.

The newcomer had edged out longtime Congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary earlier this year.

Before Tuesday's elections, women made up a record 20% of Congress - 23% of the Senate and 19% of the House.

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