Women Have Already Made History in the 2020 Election

Madison Feller
·4-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Seventeen

Before any races were even called this November, women had made history. A record number of women ran for office in 2020—surpassing the record set just two years prior. More Republican women ran for U.S. House seats than ever before, and a number of women were poised to bring new representation to the halls of Congress and to their state legislatures. Here, as we wait to find out about the rest of the 2020 election, read about some of the candidates who are already making headlines:

New Mexico's U.S. House delegation

Photo credit: MARK RALSTON - Getty Images
Photo credit: MARK RALSTON - Getty Images

New Mexico has elected a woman of color in each of its three congressional districts, creating the largest all-women congressional delegation in the country's history and the state's first all-female delegation. Rep. Deb Haaland was re-elected in the 1st district, while Republican Yvette Herrell and Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez were elected for their first terms in the 2nd and 3rd district, respectively. Leger Fernandez will also be the first woman to represent her district.

Sarah McBride

Photo credit: Paul Morigi - Getty Images
Photo credit: Paul Morigi - Getty Images

McBride has been elected to Delaware's state Senate and will become the highest-ranking openly transgender official in the nation, as well as the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history. She was also the first openly transgender person to work at the White House, during President Barack Obama’s administration, and she became the first openly transgender person to speak at a major party’s national convention in 2016.

Stephanie Byers

Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil - Getty Images

Byers, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, has been elected to Kansas's state legislature and will become the first openly transgender lawmaker in the state. She is also an admired teacher, having been named educator of the year by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network in 2018 for her work as a music educator.

Taylor Small

Small has been elected to Vermont's state legislature and will become the first openly transgender lawmaker in the state. Small is currently the director of the health and wellness program at the Pride Center of Vermont and is also known for her drag persona, Nikki Champagne.

Cori Bush

Photo credit: Michael B. Thomas - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael B. Thomas - Getty Images

After winning in Missouri's 1st congressional district, Bush will become the first Black woman to represent the state in Congress. Bush, a single mother, former nurse, and Black Lives Matter activist, was a leader in the Ferguson protests. This was her second time running for the seat.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby

Photo credit: Paras Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Paras Griffin - Getty Images

Rayner-Goolsby has been elected to Florida's state House and will become the first openly LGBTQ+ Black woman in the state's legislature. She's also the founder and principal attorney of Civil Liberty Law and a former assistant public defender.

Kim Jackson

After winning her election, Jackson will become the first openly LGBTQ+ member of Georgia's state Senate. According to The Advocate, Jackson is an Episcopal priest and social justice advocate who lives on a farm with her partner.

Tarra Simmons

According to The Appeal, Simmons will now become the first person formerly convicted of a felony to be elected to the Washington state legislature. Simmons is an attorney who co-founded the Civil Survival Project, which provides legal services for the formerly incarcerated.

Marilyn Strickland

Strickland won her race in Washington’s 10th congressional district, becoming the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress. According to the New York Times, she will also be the first Black woman to represent the state at the federal level. Strickland also served in the Tacoma City Council and as mayor of Tacoma, Washington.

Daniella Levine Cava

County commissioner Levine Cava will officially become the first female mayor of Miami-Dade County after winning her Florida election on Tuesday. Though the position is non-partisan, Levine Cava campaigned as a progressive; she’s the first Democrat to win the county mayoral race since 2000, according to the Miami Herald.

Madinah Wilson-Anton

Wilson-Anton, a former legislative aide, won her Delaware state House race, becoming the first Muslim elected to the state legislature. She told HuffPost about her win: “Hopefully, we can stop with all the first and have a really diverse government at all levels across the country.”

Nida Allam

Allam is the first Muslim woman elected to the county commission in Durham, North Carolina. In 2016, she worked for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and in 2018, she was appointed to the Durham Mayor’s Council for Women, according to her website.

This post will be updated as more races are called.

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