November 7, 2018 / 5:45 PM / 10 months ago

FACTBOX-Women shatter many barriers in Congress, states in U.S. elections

    By Ginger Gibson
    Nov 7 (Reuters) - From New Mexico's Debra Haaland, who
became one of the first two indigenous women elected to the U.S.
Congress to New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who at 29
became the youngest woman elected to the chamber, American
political candidate notched several precedents in this week's
    The following are details on some of the firsts marked
during the 2018 midterm elections:

    First Native American woman in Congress: Two Native American
women elected will become the first indigenous people seated in
Congress - Sharice Davids in Kansas and Haaland in New Mexico.  
    Youngest woman elected to Congress: After defeating a
long-time incumbent in a Democratic primary, Ocasio-Cortez,
became the youngest woman elected to Congress. The title was
previously held by Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican
who was first elected at the age of 30 in 2014. William Charles
Cole Claiborne was the youngest member elected to the House at
age 22 in 1797. He was seated despite not meeting the
constitutional age requirement of 25 years.    
    First female Muslim members of Congress: There are two women
who won seats to become the first female Muslim members of
Congress - Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in
Minnesota. Omar will also be the first member of Congress to
wear a hijab or head scarf, which she does as a Muslim. She is
also the first Somali-American elected to Congress. Tlaib is the
first Palestinian-American elected to Congress.
    State's first female governor: Two women became the first in
their respective states to be elected governor. Democrat Janet
Mills won the Maine gubernatorial race and Republican Kristi
Noem secured victory to be next governor in South Dakota.   
    First consecutive female state governors: New Mexico's
Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, will replace outgoing
Republican Governor Susana Martinez, becoming the first time a
state has elected two women in a row to the governor's office.  
    First gay male governor: Colorado's Jared Polis already
notched a first when he was elected to the U.S. House as the
first openly gay non-incumbent elected to Congress. With a win
in Colorado, he will now become the country's first openly gay
man to win a gubernatorial election.    
    First Korean-American woman elected to Congress: Republican
Young Kim of California won a close race that secures her place
as the first Korean-American woman elected as U.S.
    First black woman from New England in Congress: Democrats
Jahana Hayes of Connecticut and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts
will share the precedent as the first black women elected to the
U.S. Congress from New England. 
    First Hispanic woman to Congress from Texas: There are two
women in Texas whose victories will make them the first Hispanic
women from the Lone Star state to go to Congress. Democrats
Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia both secured election

 (Reporting by Ginger Gibson; editing by Scott Malone and G
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