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
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.
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.
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.
“If we do move in this direction, which I hope we do, we would be the fifth state in the U.S. to actually have an out transgender person hold elected office. Which is wild to think about because of the fact that when we look at our state legislators, who is typically represented in those bodies? . It’s typically white folks. It’s typically folks who have an excess of wealth. They’re primarily straight and cisgender as well.” . Vermont’s Legislature needs the perspectives of marginalized citizens because they’re the representatives who have a personal and political objective to create inclusive policies for all. . #vtpoli #winooski #winooskimytown #ThinkBigVoteSmall #UpliftingAllVermonters
A post shared by Taylor Small (@taylorsmallvt) on Aug 10, 2020 at 6:48am PDT
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.
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.
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.
Greetings! I'm Kim Jackson & I am running for Senate because I want to ensure that every Georgian has the opportunity to thrive. I know that if we work together, we can make Georgia a cleaner, healthier, & more just Georgia for all Georgians. So consider this a direct invitation to join the conversation & to follow my campaign for Georgia State Senate, District 41.
A post shared by Kim Jackson (@kimforgeorgia) on Oct 7, 2019 at 4:44pm PDT
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.
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.
I’m running to represent Washington’s 10th in Congress! As a Democrat, community leader, and former two-term mayor of Tacoma, I will bring the same effective, progressive leadership which shaped Tacoma to Congress! Join my team on day one! Link to website in bio.
A post shared by Marilyn Strickland (@stricklandforwa) on Dec 19, 2019 at 10:01am PST
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
Every generation of women leaders creates a bridge to those who come after. 100 years ago tomorrow, Congress ratified the 19th Amendment securing women’s constitutional right to vote. Today, in 2020, nearly 70 million American women celebrate this milestone by voting. #WomensVote100 @miamidadecounty #OurCounty @miamidadebcc @miamidadewomen
A post shared by Daniella Levine Cava (@dlcava) on Aug 17, 2020 at 7:50pm PDT
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.
When I start thinking about how many working class families we’re going to help by passing paid family and medical leave and universal child care in Delaware. Check out our working families plan @ our website!
A post shared by Madinah Wilson-Anton (@madinahforde) on Sep 22, 2020 at 6:38am PDT
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.”
After years of organizing behind the scenes to help elect progressives across our state, I have decided to step up and take a stand. I am excited to announce my candidacy for Durham County Commissioner. Durham County is at a critical moment where we have an opportunity to have the tough conversations about how investments in the community have directly impacted our most vulnerable neighborhoods. I am running because I believe in the promise of a more equitable and accessible Durham. I am running because I seek to uplift the voices of our most marginalized communities and build bridges that bring them to the table. I’m running because I will fight for a Durham we all deserve. Join me & let’s fight for what our communities deserve! (Link in bio) #durham #ncpol #candidate #unapologeticallymuslim #leadership #bullcity #countydurham #northcarolina #democrat #justice #equity #accountability #safety #health #future #environment #millenials #futureleaders
A post shared by Nida Allam (@nidaallam) on Oct 25, 2019 at 10:00am PDT
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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