The 2018 midterm elections were a surprise for everyone despite what political party you associate with, specifically when you look at the United States Congress. Many people suspected that it would be extremely hard for the Democrats to take back control of the House of Representatives as the district lines are extremely gerrymandered. The Democrats needed to flip 24 seats in order to take back the House. And not only did they flip the 24 seats they needed, they went above and beyond by flipping 40 seats total, giving them a sizable majority. Currently, the House breakdown is 235 Democrats to 199 Republicans, with North Carolina’s 9th District still undecided to total the 435 House seats.
The most notable pieces of this new congress are its vast diversity in gender and race. The 116th United States Congress is the most racially diverse and most female group ever elected. Women won more than 60% of the seats flipped by Democrats. There were 4 newly elected Republican women and 36 total freshmen women in the House of Representatives. These included 5 female veterans or former CIA workers as well as a variety of notable firsts, which are listed below.
Democrat Lauren Underwood was elected to represent Illinois’s 14th congressional district. This was a sizable accomplishment as her district is largely white and Republican.
Democrat Ayanna Pressley was elected as the first black woman from Massachusetts to serve in congress. She will be representing Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District.
Omar from Minnesota was elected to Minnesota's 5th Congressional District and is America's first Somali-American woman in congress and one of the first Muslim women to be elected to congress.
Lucy will be the first Democrat to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District since it moved in 1993 and will be the first person of color to represent her district.
Hayes was elected to Connecticut’s 5th District will be the first black woman to represent Connecticut in congress.
Deb Haaland will be one of the first Native American women elected to congress, representing New Mexico’s 1st congressional district.
Sharice Davids will be one of the first Native American women elected to congress, representing Kansas’ 3rd congressional district.
Rashida Tlaib will be one of the first Muslim women in congress and the first Palestinian American woman in congress, representing Michigan's 13th congressional district
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is youngest woman ever to be elected to congress (29 years old) and will be representing New York’s 14th congressional district.
Hopefully with all of these strong newly elected women, the 116th Congress of the United States will continue to fight for women’s issues and make representing the United States in congress a more women friendly position.