By Kelcie McKenney, Emily Park, and Jen Harris
After Tuesday’s election, the U.S. not only ended up with the first woman—and a half Black, half Indian woman at that—to hold the title of Vice President of the United States, but also with a record-breaking 134 womxn winning seats in the United States Congress.
New Mexico became the first state to elect all women of color to represent the state in the U.S. House of Representatives. Delaware voted in the first transgender member of the U.S. Senate. Republicans elected their first Native American woman to Congress, who will represent New Mexico. And those are just some of the wins for womxn on election day.
These are the womxn behind historic firsts of Nov. 3’s election:
FIRSTS WORTH CELEBRATING
Kamala Harris of California isn’t just the first woman to be Vice President of the United States, she’s also the first Black and Indian Woman to be our VP elect—officially making her the highest-ranking woman elected official in United States history.
House Representative of Missouri’s 1st district
Cori Bush beat out Republican candidate Anthony Rodgers and Libertarian Alex Furman, becoming Missouri’s first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress.
Teresa Leger Fernandez
House Representative of New Mexico’s 3rd district
Teresa Leger Fernandez isn’t just the first Latinx person to hold office in New Mexico, she is also the first woman in 37 years to hold office in New Mexico. The last woman was in office in 1983. Fernandez is joining the House New Mexico representatives Deb Haaland and Yvette Herrell, making New Mexico the first state exclusively represented by women in the House.
House Representative of New Mexico’s 2nd district
Yvette Herrell is the first Native American to be elected as a Republican to Congress. She is a career politician and a member of the Cherokee nation.
House Representative of Washington’s 10th district
Marilyn Strickland is the first Black congress member from the Pacific Northwest. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she is also the first Korean-American woman in Washington’s legislative body.
Colorado House of Representative, District 41
Iman Jodeh is the first Muslim lawmaker in Colorado.
Delaware State Senator from the 1st district
Sarah McBride’s win in Delaware makes her the country’s first openly transgender state senator. She is now the highest-ranking openly trans official in the country.
Delaware State Legislature, District 26
Madinah Wilson-Anton is the first Muslim elected to Delaware’s state legislature.
Florida State Legislature, District 35
Michele Rayner-Goolsby has become the first Black LGBTQ+ woman in the Florida State Legislature.
Georgia State Senate, District 41
Kim Jackson’s win makes her the first openly LGBTQ+ person in Georgia’s State Senate.
Kansas House of Representatives from the 86th district
As a member of the Native American Chickasaw Nation, Stephanie Byers is the first openly transgender Native American person to be elected to office in the United States. She is also the first transgender person of color elected to the state legislature in Kansas.
Oklahoma House, District 88
Mauree Turner brought us two firsts this election. Turner is the first openly nonbinary state lawmaker in the United States and the first Muslim lawmaker in Oklahoma.
Rhode Island representative, District 64
Brianna Henries is the first Native American woman elected to Rhode Island’s General Assembly
Vermont State Legislature Official
Taylor Small is the first openly transgender person opening to the Vermont State Legislature.
Daniella Levine Cava
Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Florida
Making history, Daniella Levine Cava has become the first woman mayor of Miami-Dade County, FL.
Hamilton County, OH Sheriff
After Charmaine McGuffey was fired by her former boss because of her gender and sexual orientation, she ran against that exact boss and won. Charmaine McGuffey is the first openly LGBTQ+ sheriff and the first woman sheriff in Hamilton County, OH.
Charleston County, SC Sheriff
Kristin Graziano is the first openly LGBTQ+ sheriff and the first woman sheriff in Charleston County, SC. She beat incumbent Al Cannon who had been sheriff since 1988.
North Carolina Official
Nida Allam has become the first Muslim-American woman to be elected to office in North Carolina.
RETURNS WE LOVE
The squad is back:
Progressive congress women leaders Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayana Pressley—also known as The Squad—all won their races against conservative contestants. “Our sisterhood is resilient,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “Sisterhood is everything,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared on Twitter.
House of Representatives of Kansas’s 3rd district
Sharice Davids returns after her 2018 win as the first Democrat to represent Kansas congressional district in a decade and the first openly LGBTQ+ Native American elected to the Congress and the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to Congress from Kansas.
OTHER LAWS IN ACTION
Colorado protected access to abortion
All 3 Native American women running for the Kansas House legislature have won: Christina Haswood, Navajo,District 10; Ponca We Victors, Tohono O’odham/Ponca, District 103; Stephanie Byers, Chickasaw, District 86 #NativeVote2020
Of the 318 women candidates running for the 470 seats available in Congress, 117 of them are women of color. >> Women, and women of color, running for seats in Congress are setting a record.
Republican women in Congress have reached an all-time high. A record 32 Republican women were elected to congress, including 13 new candidates. >> In Ascendant Night for Congressional Republicans, Women Led the Way
Women are running. Here’s all the data on 2020 women candidates for U.S. Congress. >> 2020 Women Candidates for U.S. Congress and Statewide Elected Executive Office
Kelcie McKenney is a writer, editor, and artist who is passionate about feminism. She currently works as Strategy Director at The Pitch , where she writes and edits for Kansas City’s alternative magazine. You can find Kelcie on Instagram with #kcdaddy, where she talks about her three-legged cat Luna, thrift finds, and ways to overthrow the patriarchy.
Emily Park is a Kansas City-based journalist, passionate about giving a voice to those who don’t always have one. From news to features to business-to-business reporting, she’s done it all. (Features are her favorite though.) In her free time you can find Emily playing games, reading, streaming, or hanging out with her furry babies, Sutton the dog and Salem the cat.
Poet Jen Harris (she/her) is a creative entrepreneur & performance artist. Her ongoing community projects include The Writing Workshop KC & Kansas City Poetry Slam. Featured on NPR, TEDx, Button Poetry, Write About Now Poetry & Netflix Queer Eye, Harris is the author of 3 books of poetry, confessional assortments of her queer life in America.