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The midterm elections saw women securing historic firsts around the country, from the first Native American women to join the House of Representatives to Tennessee electing a woman to the Senate for the first time.

Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman to represent MA in Congress and will occupy the seat held by such lions as JFK and Tip O'Neill.

The high-profile cycle that produced a record number of women contenders and candidates of colour meant several winners will take office as trailblazers, marking firsts for their race and gender.

A Republican who served in the House will become the first woman to represent Tennessee in the Senate. In Maine, Democrat Janet Mills will become the state's first woman governor, and in South Dakota, Republican Kristi Noem will be the first women to lead the state.

A record number of women are projected to win seats in the House in a massive night for female candidates across the political spectrum. The progressive challenger and member of the Democratic socialist party unseated a powerful 10-term NY congressman, running with a campaign ad that said: "Women like me aren't supposed to run for office".

Texas has elected its first Hispanic woman to Congress, with Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia winning their house seats. While they did take control of the House of Representatives, liberals suffered some painful defeats, especially in the Senate.

Georgia governor's race candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, was in a fierce battle to become America's first black woman governor, and Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum was bidding to become the first black governor of Florida. 65 of those are incumbent reps, with 31 newly elected women.

Some of Tuesday's black female pioneers, like IL nurse and Democrat Lauren Underwood and CT teacher and Democrat Jahana Hayes, were first-time candidates.

Sharice Davids became one of the first Native American members of Congress. Davids, an attorney and advocate, will represent Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, which covers eastern Kansas and includes Kansas City. And she's a former MMA fighter, as well.

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

"White women are a Republican constituency, and in many states they again voted as if patriarchy would protect them", said frequent MSNBC guest Jamil White.

She is a Democratic-Socialist who served on the state legislature from 2009 to 2014 and ran her congressional primary campaign supporting Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage and abolishing Ice. In 1982, 58 per cent of women voted for Democrats and 41 per cent voted for Republicans.

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

CNN projected at the same time that eight women - four incumbents and four non-incumbents - would win gubernatorial races.

In Colorado, Jared Polis will be the country's first openly gay man elected governor.

"This isn't just the year of the woman, this is the year of every woman", said Cecile Richards, who served as the president of Planned Parenthood for more than a decade, noting the groundbreaking diversity among the women who have run for office this year.

"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".


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