Who runs the world? All the womxn & LGBTQ+ running the U.S. after election day

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

Vice President

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.

Cori Bush

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. 

Yvette Herrell

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. 

Marilyn Strickland

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.

Iman Jodeh

Colorado House of Representative, District 41

Iman Jodeh is the first Muslim lawmaker in Colorado. 

Sarah McBride

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. 

Madinah Wilson-Anton

Delaware State Legislature, District 26

Madinah Wilson-Anton is the first Muslim elected to Delaware’s state legislature.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby

Florida State Legislature, District 35

Michele Rayner-Goolsby has become the first Black LGBTQ+ woman in the Florida State Legislature.

Kim Jackson

Georgia State Senate, District 41

Kim Jackson’s win makes her the first openly LGBTQ+ person in Georgia’s State Senate.

Stephanie Byers

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. 

Mauree Turner

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.

Brianna Henries

Rhode Island representative, District 64

Brianna Henries is the first Native American woman elected to Rhode Island’s General Assembly

Taylor Small

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.

Charmaine McGuffey

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.

Kristin Graziano

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.

Nida Allam

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. 

Ilhan Omar
Minnesota

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
New York

Rashida Tlaib
Michigan

Ayana Pressley
Massachusetts

Sharice Davids

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

QUICK STATS

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 SlamFeatured on NPRTEDxButton Poetry, Write About Now Poetry & Netflix Queer Eye, Harris is the author of 3 books of poetryconfessional assortments of her queer life in America.

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