With some results still trickling in from Tuesday’s election, one thing is clear: the rainbow wave is upon us.
Elected officials across the country and in nearly every branch of government are more diverse than before, with a number of history-making firsts for women, the LGBT community, Native Americans, and Muslims, among others.
Here are just a few.
Newly-elected Jared Polis of Colorado is the first openly gay man to be elected governor. Chris Pappas will be the first openly gay congressman from New Hampshire, while Sharice Davids is not only the first openly LGBT congressperson from Kansas, but the first Native American woman to be elected to Congress. And while not a first, incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, the first bisexual governor in U.S. history, retained her seat in Oregon.
People of color
Sharice Davids shares the title of first Native American woman elected to Congress, along with Debra Haaland of New Mexico. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of Michigan and Minnesota will be the first two Muslim women in Congress. Omar is also the first Somali-American and first Muslim refugee to be elected to Congress.
Massachusetts and Connecticut will be sending African-American women to Congress for the first time with the wins of Ayanna Pressley and Jahana Hayes. And Texas, a state that is nearly 40% Latino, has elected its first two Latina congresswomen: Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar.
Female first-time winners
Iowa will be sending its first two women to the House following wins by Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne. South Dakota and Maine have elected their first female governors: Kristi Noem and Janet Mills, respectively. And Marsha Blackburn will become the first female senator from Tennessee, after defeating Phil Bredesen. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s win in New York will make her the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, at age 29.
With so many wins for women, Congress will also be more female than ever before. A record-breaking 100 women have been elected to the House and 12 to the Senate, bringing the total to at least 117 women overall in the 116th Congress.