On Tuesday, voters across the US came out in record numbers to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. Here are some of the highlights.
Over 100 women women are headed to Congress, the most ever in U.S. history. This includes:
- Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota as the first Muslim women elected to Congress;
- Young Kim in California, the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress;
- Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts' first black Congresswoman; Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year and Connecticut's first black Congresswoman; and Lauren Underwood in Illinois, a 32-year-old registered nurse who ran in a predominantly white district;
- Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in New York, a Latina and the youngest woman to be elected to Congress and a Latina;
- Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar, Texas' first Latina Congresswomen;
- Deb Haaland in New Mexico and Sharice Davids in Kansas, as the first Native American women in Congress
Deb Haaland took over the seat previously held by Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Latina who is now the new governor of New Mexico. New Mexico's governorship and state legislature are now held by people who will likely support our values and priorities around immigrant rights and reproductive health and rights.
Also in the Southwest, Nevada elected Rep. Jacky Rosen as Senator, unseating Dean Heller after he failed to unequivocally stand for the ACA last year. In addition, the Nevada Assembly, the lower house of Nevada's state legislature, became the first women-majority chamber in the US.
In addition to electing its first two Latinas to Congress, Texas came close to electing to the U.S. Senate Beto O'Rourke, who campaigned on reproductive rights, racial justice, healthcare, and immigration reform without accepting money from political action committees. Harris County, which encompasses all of Houston and includes 4.7 million people, also elected a 27-year-old Latina as county judge, Lina Hidalgo. Hidalgo campaigned as an openly progressive candidate and a strong advocate for immigrant communities. No doubt Asian Americans are playing a role in this shift towards candidates that share our vision for a better country. Sri Preston Kulkarni, an Indian-American and candidate for Texas' 22nd congressional district, lost his race against Rep. Pete Olson, but ultimately increased turnout among Asian American voters by campaigning in sixteen different languages and doing targeted outreach to the large AAPI community in his district.
New York elected its first black attorney general, Letitia James. With the defeat of Governor Bruce Rauner to JB Pritzker in Illinois, the two states now have both governorships and state legislatures that will be more favorable towards the values and priorities that immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people share.
Guam also elected its first woman governor, Lou Leon Guerrero.
On the issues:
Voters stood up for affordable healthcare and voted to expand Medicaid in the states of Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska. Arkansas and Missouri also voted for minimum wage increases. Massachusetts voted to maintain a law protecting transgender rights, and Florida restored voting rights to citizens convicted of certain felonies who have served their sentences.
- Trump administration continues attacks on reproductive health access day after the election
- Trump administration seeks to tighten rules on asylum seekers
Trump administration continues attacks on reproductive health access day after the election