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8 Amazing Things That Happened in the 2018 Midterm Election

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Chicago chapter.

This past midterm election was filled with a lot of firsts and a lot of positive progress. The most notable win that resulted from the 2018 Midterms was the Democrats regaining control of the House (after 8 years!) after they gained a whopping 23 seats. While this was a major win that is sure to affect a great deal of change, there were a lot of other things that happened in the election that served as symbols of hope, unity, and representation.

Here’s a list of all the amazing things that came out of the midterms.

Photo Courtesy of Alaraby

1.   The first Muslim women were elected to Congress.

Rashida Tlaib(D), representing Michigan, became the first-ever Muslim woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She was later joined by Ilhan Omar (D), from Minnesota, who won Minnesota’s 5thCongressional District. Omar, who was once a Somali refugee, and Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, are both strong advocates for minorities and continue to battle against Trump’s anti-immigration policies.

Photo Courtesy of Hometown

2.   The first openly lesbian woman was elected mayor in Florida.

The first openly lesbian woman in Florida to be elected in the midterms is Teri Johnston (D). Former Key West city commissioner, Teri Johnston, centered her campaign around environmental preservation and economic balance but will no doubt have an impact on the LGBTQ+ community as well.

Photo Courtesy of Westword

3.   Colorado elects first openly gay governor in U.S. history

Jared Polis, a Democrat, won the governor’s seat in Colorado, becoming the first openly gay governor in the history of the United States. Polis formerly held a government position as a U.S. representative in Colorado. During his campaign, Polis focused on key issues like universal health care, free early-childhood education, and 100 percent renewable energy in the state.

Photo Courtesy of The Hill

4.  Texas elected the first Latina congresswomen

Democrats Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar were just elected the first Latina congresswomen in the state of Texas. Garcia, who is a former county commissioner and state legislator, won the seat for the 29th Congressional District. Escobar, a former teacher, and county judge won the 16th Congressional District. These two women being elected is a huge step for increased representation as the Hispanic population in Texas is on track to outnumber white residents by 2022.

Photo Courtesy of KVOA

5.   The first Native American women were elected to Congress.

Sharice Davids, a Democrat, is the first Native American woman elected to Congress, winning Kansas’s 3rdCongressional District by a narrow 9 points. She is also the first openly gay representative for Kansas and the first former mixed-martial-arts fighter. Deb Haaland won a seat in the 1stdistrict in New Mexico, defeating Republican Janice Arnold-Jones, earning roughly 60 percent of the vote. She is a tribal member of the Pueblo of Laguna.

Photo Courtesy of The Grio

6.  Massachusetts elected its first black congresswoman.

Ayanna Pressley, a Democrat, became the first black congresswoman for the state of Massachusetts. She ran unopposed during the midterms after unseating longtime Representative Michael Capuano in the MA primary. Pressley is representing the state’s 7th Congressional District, the only district in Massachusetts where minorities make up a majority of the voting population.

Photo Courtesy of Split Institute

7.   Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her election to the House in New York’s 14th Congressional District making her the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. The 28-year-old Bronx native, who previously campaigned for Bernie Sanders, positions herself to the left, supporting issues like universal Medicare and free college tuition.

Photo Courtesy of Essence

8.  Illinois elected the youngest black congresswoman

Lauren Underwood is the youngest black congresswoman elected into the house. The 32-year-old won Illinois’ 14th District and gained endorsement from Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Underwood is a nurse and also served as an adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama administration.

Briana Kennedy

Columbia Chicago '19

I am a Columbia College Chicago student majoring in Advertising and double minoring in Marketing and Social Media & Digital Strategy. I am currently a strategy intern for Fusion92. In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, watching Netflix, exploring Chicago, and finding the cutest coffee shops.