Breaking: Over 100 Women Elected To Congress In A Historic Midterm Election

Ione Dellos, Staff Writer


In a groundbreaking election, 98 women won seats in the House of Representatives, and 12 women won seats in the Senate. Out of the women elected for Senate, 10 are Democrats and 2 are Republicans, and out of the women elected to the House of Representatives, 84 are Democrats, and 14 are Republicans. With this election, there were historic wins in terms of diversity with candidates such as Sharice Davids, Deb Haaland, Kyrsten Sinema, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Kristi Noem.

(NOTE: Candidates are not listed in order of importance or priority. A “D” in parenthesis means Democrat. An “R” in parenthesis means Republican.)

#1: Sharice Davids (D)

Sharice Davids, the first openly lesbian woman in Congress as well as one of the first Native American women elected to Congress this year, won Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District.  Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, was a former MMA fighter before she decided to run for office. She also attended Cornell Law School, and completed a year in the prestigious White House Fellowship program under 44th President Barack Obama.

#2: Deb Haaland (D)

Deb Haaland, a member of the Pueblo Laguna Tribe, won New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. Haaland earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of New Mexico in 1994, and she went on to earn her Juris Doctor in Indian law from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2006. She beat opponent Janice Arnold (R) and said that her victory “is a shoutout to democracy everywhere”. While in Congress, Haaland wants to use her platform to give Native Americans more representation on issues such as health care and the environment.

#3: Ayanna Pressley (D)

Ayanna Pressley defeated 10-term congressman Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District. She had no Republican challenger. With her historic win on Sept. 4th, Pressley officially became the first black congresswoman from Massachusetts in the 2018 midterm elections. Pressley attended the College of General Studies at Boston University from 1992 to 1994, but she left school to work a full-time job at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in order to support her mother, who had lost her job. She went on to take further courses at MET (Boston University Metropolitan College). As a survivor of sexual assault, she has fought fiercely to end sexual violence, and she is dedicated to fighting gun violence.  

#4: Rashida Tlaib (D)

Tlaib, a state Representative from Michigan, became one of the first Muslim women in Congress as well as the first Palestinian-American women in Congress. After winning the Democratic nomination for former Rep. John Conyers’ seat in August, she went on to win Michigan’s 13th Congressional District in the midterms. In 1998, Tlaib graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in political science. Pursuing her education further, she went to Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2004 and earned a law degree. She was born to Palestinian immigrants in Detroit and is a seasoned government official, servingin the Michigan House from 2009 to 2014.

#5: Ilhan Omar (D)

Representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American in Congress after she defeated Republican Jennifer Zielinski. She is also one of the first Muslim women in Congress, a title she shares with Rashida Tlaib. Omar came to the U.S. as a refugee of the civil war in Somalia, which she and her family fled at the start of 1991. They spent 4 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, and then they emigrated to the United States in 1995. Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000, at the age of 17. Later, she graduated from North Dakota State University with bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies in 2011.

#6: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman elected to Congress, pulled the rug out from under 10-term congressman Joe Crowley during the Democratic primary back in June. The 29-year old activist from the Bronx then went on to defeat Republican Anthony Pappas in the race for New York’s 14th Congressional District. While attending Yorktown High School from 2003-2007, Cortez won the second place prize in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a research project on microbiology. As a direct result, the International Astronomical Union named a small asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez. In 2011, she graduated cum laude from Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics. She served as the LDZ Secretary of State while attending Boston University. She also worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

#7: Kyrsten Sinema (D)

Sinema, a former social worker who was the first openly bisexual member of U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, will represent Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. Sinema earned her B.A. from Brigham Young University in 1995 at only 19 years old, and she continued to pursue her education from there. In 1999, she received her Master of Social Work degree from Arizona State University and went on to earn a J.D. from Arizona State University College of Law in 2004. She recently earned her Ph.D. degree in Justice Studies from Arizona State. Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally in the race for Jeff Flake’s vacant seat.

#8: Kristi Noem (R)

Noem defeated Democrat Billie Sutton during the 2018 midterms to become South Dakota’s first female governor. Kristi attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, but she left after two years to help run her family’s ranch after her father died in a farm machinery accident. She stopped attending college full-time after that but took some classes at Mount Marty College and South Dakota State University over the years. Eventually, she earned a B.A. from the Department of Political Science at South Dakota State University in December of 2011.


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