Women and diversity win big in historic state and local elections

09 November, 2018, 22:54 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo and his partner Sandra Lee at their Mt. Kisco polling site

Whichever candidate wins will be the first woman to represent Arizona in the Senate.

"It is up to us to fulfil the promise of America", she told supporters after her win.

This was how the elections were being billed by some, a reference to the 1992 mid-terms in which the number of women in Congress doubled.

With votes still being counted in several states, more than 100 women are projected to be heading to Congress. Like Ocasio-Cortez, the Iowa Democrat is 29-years-old.

Her campaign focused to secure a $15 minimum wage, stopping cuts to welfare programmes, preventing tax relief to large corporations, and debt-free college and vocational training.

The record-breaking number of women on ballots across the country included Republican Marsha Blackburn who was quick to thank voters for electing her the first woman ever to represent Tennessee in the United States Senate. The district is already solidly blue, and even though her victory was all but guaranteed after winning the primary, Ocasio-Cortez kept campaigning. These times demanded an approach to governing that was bold, uncompromising and unafraid. "It's just a matter of time".

The class of 2019 includes the youngest congressional women in history, 29-year-olds Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from NY and Abby Finkenauer from Iowa, as well as the first two Native American women, and the first two Muslim women, Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib and Somali-American Ilhan Omar.

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This year's crucial mid-term elections were always likely to make history. Tlaib was famously escorted from a Trump rally in 2016 as she shouted questions at the candidate, asking him if he had ever read the constitution.

Hillary Clinton's surprise defeat to President Donald Trump two years ago, a man who has a history of making sexist remarks, appears to have been a galvanising moment for American women.

Her congressional platform has included the cancellation of student debt, banning private prisons and aggressive funding cuts to military spending. Polis, who declared victory late Tuesday night, has always been outspoken in favour of marijuana legalisation.

Other landmark female governor races include Lou Leon Guerrero, who became the first female governor of Guam, and Kristi Noem, who was elected as South Dakota's first female governor.

First women House members from Iowa: Democrat Abby Finkenauer in Iowa's 1st District defeated Republican incumbent Rod Blum, and Democrat Cindy Axne in the state's 3rd District defeated Republican incumbent David Young to become the Hawkeye state's first two women elected to the House.

Raised by a single mother army veteran and a member of the Wisconsin-based Ho-Chunk Nation, Davids was a fellow in the Obama White House.

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