Women and diversity win big in historic state and local elections

Max Rose in October 2018

Nine women will call various governors' mansions across the USA home.

The US election has swept a record number of women into Congress, fired up by the disgust of Donald Trump, emboldened by the #MeToo movement and making the Democratic Party more diverse and younger than ever.

The first Muslim women have been elected to Congress, with Democrat Rashida Tlaib winning in MI and Ilhan Omar winning in Minnesota.

If more than 84 of those women candidates won on Tuesday, it would set a record for the number of women serving in the House. In Georgia, the race for governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams - who is vying to be the first black woman governor in the US - and Republican Brian Kemp remains too close to call.

Also in the Senate, Republican Marsha Blackburn will become Tennessee's first woman senator.

In the days leading up to the election, Trump said his sharp focus on immigrant caravans moving north toward the U.S. -Mexico border, and the threats he contends they pose, would appeal to women.

Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, can't afford to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C. before she's sworn in come January.

In Massachusetts, Ayanna Pressley ran unopposed as a Democrat and became the first black woman to represent the commonwealth in Congress. Research shows that women are more likely to raise policies related to women's health and family than men. Most were considered long shots.

More news: Americans start voting in midterm verdict on Trump rule

Tuesday night's elections saw an influx of diversity "firsts" in the House of Representatives, ushered in by the record-breaking candidacies of women - specifically women of color - on the Democratic ticket. The wins bump up female representation in the lower house to at least 23 percent, still dismal in the world rankings.

She also spent months leading up the midterm elections fundraising and stumping for other progressives, including Michigan's Rashida Tlaib, who became one of the first two Muslim women elected into Congress.

The Associated Press reported that a record 237 women ran for the House of Representatives this year.

Omar, a Somali-American was once a refugee, while Tlaib is the first Pakistani-American woman in congress. "Now it's people of every imaginable ethnicity and many, many more women".

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at her midterm election night party in New York, Nov. 6, 2018.

The last time women voted for Democrats anywhere near that margin was more than 30 years ago.

"Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America", Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader, said.

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