A slew of female congressional candidates ran for office this year, and a number of them already clenched their elections early in the evening on Tuesday. Following the results of so many critical House and Senate races can be really stressful— but seeing these
women's reactions to winning their 2018 midterm races is a definite highlight of the evening. The only question is how many female candidates will get to celebrate at the end of the day.
The female candidates for this year's midterm elections are incredibly diverse. In fact, Kelly Dittmar, a researcher at the Center for American Women and Politics, told CNBC that
one of the greatest themes among female candidates this year is the success for women of color, specifically.
Dittmar said, "[The narrative is about] women of color, and the potential to increase racial and ethnic diversity in these offices."
CBS News reports that
nearly 500 women were running for Congress as of last March, and that 70 percent of those women were Democrats. Depending on how Tuesday evening plays out, an unprecedented number of women could be representing the country come Wednesday. Here are some of the most heartwarming responses from the female candidates who won their elections on Tuesday evening: Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib, who won her Michigan House race in a landslide, will now be
one of the first Muslim-American women elected to Congress.
Tlaib's first message wasn't about herself, though — it was to congratulate another first-time candidate, Ayanna Pressley.
Tlaib wrote, "Congratulations ! Can't wait to serve with you." @AyannaPressley Donna Shalala
In a series of tweets following her victory, Donna Shalala (who was
previously the president of the University of Miami) thanked the thousands of Floridians who had come out and voted for her, and then promised them that she was only just beginning.
"Until every child has a fair shot at a higher education, we’re not done,"
she wrote. "Until Medicare and Social Security are secure for every senior, we will not rest. Until this heartless administration is held accountable for their numerous injustices, we will not stop." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was running uncontested after her stunning primary defeat of 10-time incumbent Joe Crowley. She is now officially
the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at 29 years old.
Ocasio-Cortez wrote of her victory, "I am so thankful for every single person who contributed, amplified, and worked to establish this movement. Never forget the hard work it took to get us here. No matter what happens, this is what it takes." Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar, a Somali American and former refugee, won the 5th District in Minnesota early in the day,
told volunteers the day before the election, "The opportunity to be here, to participate in this democracy, has made me want to dance, and door-knock and talk to people and invite people to the joy of what it means to participate in a democracy." Deb Haaland
Along with Sharice Davids, Deb Haaland became one of the first Native American congresswomen when she clenched New Mexico's First District.
Haaland wrote on Twitter, "Thank you New Mexico. Thank you to my family. And thank you Team Deb, for your tireless work to get us here! Together, we made history! #nmpol " #nm01 Jahana Hayes
By winning the election for Connecticut's 5th District, Jahana Hayes became the first black woman to be elected to Congress from the state.
Hayes' official Twitter account wrote, "
is now the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Connecticut. Congratulations!!! @JahanaHayesCT " #SheThePeopleVotes Sylvia Garcia
Sylvia Garcia became the first Latina woman to represent Texas's 29th District on Tuesday evening.
She wrote on Twitter, "We won! Thank you for fighting for me. I will never stop fighting for you in Washington!" Laura Kelly
Democratic state Senator Laura Kelly defeated Kris Kobach for the Kansas governorship on Tuesday evening.
"I am deeply humbled by the confidence Kansans have placed in me,"
Kelly wrote. "I’m honored to lead this magnificent state. And I’m thankful to each and every one of you. Now, let’s get to work." Lauren Underwood
Lauren Underwood won her election in Illinois' 14th District, a traditionally red district.
Right before polls closed,
Underwood wrote, "Team, with just a few minutes to go until polls close, I want to say: YOUR hard work made this race competitive. And YOU deserve a leader who'll fight for our health care & climate, support economic policies that help the middle class, and put country over party. Thank you." Lisa Blunt Rochester
Lisa Blunt Rochester won Delaware's at-large congressional district.
She wrote, "Thank you, Delaware! I am humbled by your support and grateful for the opportunity to serve."
The midterms aren't over yet. There are still dozens of House races and a few Senate races that have not yet been called. But regardless of the final outcome, there's one statistic that seems especially notable from Tuesday: This is the first time in U.S. history that
over 100 women have been elected to the House of Representatives.
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