NY Democrat Ocasio-Cortez set to become youngest Congresswoman ever


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.

This makes Ocasio-Cortez, who turned 29 last month, the youngest person ever elected to congress.

In Florida, 77-year-old Democrat Donna Shalala is starting a career in the US House of Representatives after winning a district that has always been in Republican hands. Candidates like Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton in Virginia, Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey, and Angie Craig in Minnesota helped the party win Republican-held seats in the suburbs.

The elections have been described as a referendum on the Trump presidency, and is expected to be indicative of the 2020 presidential elections.

The House will gain two Latina congresswomen from Texas, the Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia.

In a political season in which disgust with Washington runs high, many women hope their lack of traditional political credentials will enhance their outsider appeal: Jahana Hayes, a former teacher of the year, was a surprise victor of a Democratic House primary in CT and on Tuesday became the state's first black woman elected to Congress.

Democrat Ayanna Pressley completed her quest to become Massachusetts' first black woman elected to Congress.

Colorado voters chose Democratic US Representative Jared Polis to serve as their next governor, making him the first openly gay man to be elected to serve as the chief executive of a US state.

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The wins also came as Native Americans brought legal action over alleged voter suppression again this cycle, with the Spirit Lake Tribe filing a complaint in October against North Dakota over a voter identification law the tribe said disenfranchised voters living on reservations.

Before Tuesday's elections, women made up a record 20% of Congress - 23% of the Senate and 19% of the House.

"We launched this campaign because no one was clearly and authentically talking about issues like the corrupting role of money in politics".

In the first major race called Tuesday night, Lou Leon Guerrero was elected as Guam's governor, becoming the first woman to do so.

The House candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley of NY, who is expected to lose her race, made history as the first woman to spend federal campaign funds on childcare.

In a campaign advert, which garnered millions of views upon its release, she added: "Women like me aren't supposed to run for office".

"He just laughed, but after Congress repealed the prohibition law in 1991, and I was named as one of seven women who would be put through fighter training, he looked me up and said he was amazed I had accomplished my goal.".

Women also were on the ballot for governor in 16 states this year. On Tuesday, James won her seat for New York State Attorney General. And Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, will be Connecticut's first black congresswoman.