United States midterm elections: Barrier-busting winners set to shake up Congress

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The Associated Press reported that 237 women ran for the House as major-party candidates in 2018, spurred in many cases by the #MeToo movement and a renewed interest in politics following the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, whose attitudes toward women have been questioned.

The mid-term elections brought a surge of female candidates to ballots across America in a vote being seen as a referendum on the Trump presidency.

Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of MI, both Democrats, will be the first Muslim-American women to serve in the House.

Voters in two states also elected the country's first Muslim women to the House: Rashida Tlaib, a former state legislator running in Detroit, and Ilhan Omar, a state legislator running in Minneapolis.

In Massachusetts, Ayanna Pressley ran unopposed as a Democrat and became the first black woman to represent the commonwealth in Congress. Davids is also Kansas' first openly gay statewide representative.

MA and CT will also send black women to Congress as firsts for their states, while Arizona and Tennessee are getting their first female senators.

(8) Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress, comfortably won re-election last night.

For this wave of women leaders, the next few years are going to be about much more than stereotypical women's issues.

Noem was one of the most notable Republican women seeking higher office in the midterms, an election year characterized more by a historic gender gap in favor of the Democrats. But Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by a dozen women, fiercely defended Kavanaugh, to the delight of his most loyal supporters.

Idaho gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan also lost her race to become the country's first Native American governor.

Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland picked up Congressional seats for Democrats in Kansas and New Mexico Tuesday night, making them the first Native American women elected to Congress in history.

Two women helped Democrats pick up seats in Florida: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala, a member of former President Bill Clinton's Cabinet.

■In Connecticut, educator Jahana Hayes won the state's Fifth District race and will be the first black woman to represent Connecticut in the House.

This year's swing was, in large part, because of independent women, who voted for Democratic candidates for the House, 56 per cent to 39 per cent, as well as white women, who have started voting differently in recent years, according to CNN's exit poll data. Elsewhere, the number of female governors expanded, with the Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham becoming the first Democratic woman of color elected governor in the US.

"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.

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