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What is already the most diverse Congress ever will become even more so after Tuesday's elections, which broke barriers of race and gender.

The first Muslim women have been elected to Congress, with Democrat Rashida Tlaib winning in MI and Ilhan Omar winning in Minnesota.

Arizona will send a woman - either Democratic representative Kyrsten Sinema or Republican representative Martha McSally - to the Senate for the first time.

Democrats Sharice Davids, a lesbian mixed martial arts fighter, and Deb Haaland, became the first Native American women elected to Congress. Stacey Abrams, one of 16 women running for governor this year, remains in a tight contest in Georgia.

A record number of women are projected to win seats in the House in a massive night for female candidates across the political spectrum.

Jahana Hayes similarly will join the freshman class as Connecticut's first black female representative.

As of early Wednesday morning, CNN projected 98 women would win House races, with 33 women newly elected to the House and 65 female incumbents. (Republicans retained control of the Senate.) This means we might see Trump's tax returns after all, and we'll likely not have to go through another Affordable Care Act repeal in the next two years.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala noted that both of her opponents in the race for a House seat from Florida were women.

Democrat Mike Espy, who will face Mississippi Republican Representative Cindy Hyde-Smith in a December runoff, could become the state's first black senator since Reconstruction.

More women ran in congressional primaries this year than ever before, mostly as Democrats.

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

And it's a mobilization that could lead to a Democratic majority that is more responsive to women's concerns.

While women gained in the House, results were still uncertain in the Senate, where there are now 23 women serving.

"On the Democratic side, these races were viewed not only as a referendum on President Donald Trump, but also, in many cases, on his version of identity politics, which in its final days played to the fears of his base, a group that is largely white, male and Christian". ME and South Dakota also elected their first female governors with Janet Mills and Kristi Noem, respectively. Democratic women won one Republican-held seat in IL, two in Iowa, and one in Kansas.

"Powered by a massive turnout of women and fuelled by our incredible candidates, House Democrats gained several seats in the heartland", Democratic representative Cheri Bustos of IL said in a statement Tuesday night after House control was called for Democrats. As first-time women candidates running in MI and IL, they were part of a surge of new Congressional candidates aiming to flip GOP-held seats in crucial swing districts. Several were first-time candidates.

The impact of Tuesday's election will be a topic of much debate, but one thing's clear: Women made big strides. Jason Crow won on a gun control platform in Colorado's 6th District (which includes the site of the Aurora theater shooting).


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