2018 Midterm Elections: US elects a number of first-ever candidates

From the first Muslim women in Congress to the first openly gay governor, this year’s midterm elections saw a number of historic firsts


By Cutacut Editorial Team

KARACHI: For many Americans, this year’s midterm elections in the United States meant more than just electing officials to Congress and the Senate.

The polls, for Democratic voters especially, became a form of resistance against President Donald Trump, who over the past two years has upended American politics with his well-documented bigotry and unapologetic failure to denounce white nationalism.

As per the results, however, Democrats’ efforts failed to materialise into substantial upsets for their Republican rivals, according to The New York Times. Case in point: Ted Cruz, the notoriously unpopular Senate candidate in deeply conservative Texas, beat his Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke, who led a successful campaign but reportedly fell short on Election Day.

There wasn’t all doom and gloom, though.

The results also saw a number of trailblasing candidates, mainly women, clenching historic victories.

Have a look:

1. The first Muslim congresswomen

Two candidates have made history together by becoming the first Muslim women elected to US Congress.

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American, Muslim legislator, from Minnesota’s Fifth District, defeated Republican rival Jennifer Zielinski, the AFP reported.

Meanwhile, in Michigan’s 17th District, Rashida Tlaib, who ran unchallenged, became the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress.

2. The first Native American congresswomen

In 2018, the US finally elected two Native American women in Congress, according to CNN.

Sharice Davids of Ho-Chunk Nation, also a former MMA fighter, unseated GOP Rep Kevin Yoder. She is also the first lesbian congresswoman from Kansas.

In New Mexico, Deb Haaland of the Pueblo of Laguna will succeed Democratic Rep Michelle Lujan Grisham.

3. The first female governor Of Guam

The US territory of Guam elected its first-ever woman governor, Lou Leon Guerrero, who won over 50% of the votes. She is the first Democrat to take the office since 2003, as per The Guam Daily Post.

She will succeed Republican Eddie Baza Calvo, who governed the island for nearly eight years.

4. Youngest-ever woman in Congress

After her high-profile victory over 10-term incumbent New York Democratic Rep.Joe Crowley in June, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, made history this month by becoming the youngest ever candidate elected to Congress, the Times reports.

The record was previously held by New York GOP Rep Elise Stefanik.

5- The first openly gay man elected as governor in the US

Once billed the “hate state” due to its stringent anti-LGBTQ laws, Colorado achieved a milestone on Election Day by becoming the first US state to elect the first openly gay man as governor.

Running on a progressive platform, Jared Polis defeated his Republican challenger Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton, according to The Washington Post.

Before Polis, Oregon’s Kate Brown, who is bisexual, became the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected as governor of a US state in 2016.

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