8 women who made history this midterm election: ‘We’re still capable of change and progress’
By Morgan Smith
Some votes are still being counted and the “I Voted” stickers are just beginning to peel, but women across the U.S. are already celebrating their historic victories in the midterm elections.
All 50 states in the U.S. have now elected to send a woman to Washington.
Vermont was the last state to have never elected a woman to Congress — but on Tuesday, Democrat Becca Balint won the state’s seat in the House of Representatives, becoming the first woman and openly LGBTQ person to represent Vermont in Congress.
Other milestones included the first female governors to be elected in Arkansas, New York and Massachusetts.
While this election cycle saw a record number of women win races for governor, the number of female candidates fighting for seats in the House and Senate failed to reach the highs seen in the 2018 and 2020 races, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
Here are 8 women who made history with their midterm election wins:
Republican Katie Britt, 40, is the first elected female senator from Alabama. The former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama won the open-seat race to succeed her one-time boss Richard Shelby, for whom she previously served as chief of staff.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 40, is the first woman elected governor of Arkansas. Sanders, who served as press secretary in the Trump White House from 2017 to 2019, is also the first daughter in U.S. history to serve as governor of the state her father once represented — her father, Mike Huckabee, held the position from 1996 to 2007.
Democrat Maura Healey is the first out lesbian governor in U.S. history after winning Massachusetts’ gubernatorial race. Healey, 51, who currently serves as the state’s attorney general, is also Massachusetts’ first elected female governor. Democrat Tina Kotek of Oregon could be the first openly lesbian governor in the nation alongside Healey if elected, but the results of Oregon’s gubernatorial race are still outstanding.
Balint, 54, is the first woman elected to Congress from Vermont as well as the first out LGBTQ person elected to Congress from the state after winning Vermont’s sole House seat. “Today, we reaffirmed that Vermont, and this nation, is still a place where anything is possible. We’re still capable of change and progress,” she wrote on Instagram after her win Tuesday night.
Democrat Delia Ramirez, 39, is the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois, representing the state’s 3rd Congressional District in the House. The daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, Ramirez also became the first Guatemalan American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly when she was elected in 2018.
Democrat Kathy Hochul, 64, is the first elected female governor of New York. Hochul, who previously served as the state’s lieutenant governor, assumed office last year after Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned.
Democrat Marcy Kaptur will become the longest-serving woman in Congress after winning her 21st term to represent Ohio in the House. Kaptur, 76, will break a record set by Barbara Mikulski, Maryland’s former senator who represented the state in the House and Senate for a combined 40 years.
Democrat Summer Lee is the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Pennsylvania, representing the state’s 12th congressional district in the House.
Women in both parties also had historic wins in lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general races across the U.S.:
- Republican Leslie Rutledge, 46, is the first woman to be elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas
- Democrat Shirley Weber, 74, is California’s first elected Black secretary of state
- Charity Clark, 47, is the first woman to be elected attorney general of Vermont
- Democrat Stephanie Thomas is the first Black woman to be elected secretary of state in Connecticut
- Democrat Aruna Miller, 58, is the first Asian American to be elected lieutenant governor of Maryland
- Democrat Andrea Campbell, 40 is the first Black woman to be elected attorney general of Massachusetts