Women Midterms-The Orlando Times
Nationwide Women Take Over Midterms
BY JALESSA CASTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
November 6th was a historic election day for various reasons. However, one stand out came in the wave of women who ran for and won offices across the country. It was a record-setting night.
In an unprecedented development, women filed to run for Congress and won in historic numbers. 122 women won their races out of 276 House, Senate, and gubernatorial candidates on the ballot. 12 women won Senate bids and nine women won gubernatorial races.
While the numbers for women who ran is a marvel, the number of women who voted also increased. According to the Supervisor of Elections for Orange County, FL, as of October 2018, over 413,000 women were registered to vote. That was over 56,000 more women than men.
“The fact that women are running and winning elections is a natural progression of women receiving the right to vote nearly 100 years ago,” said Patricia Brigham, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
The women who ran are inspired by the want to make sure that their voices are heard in Washington and in state capitols across the country.
“This is a tremendous time for women to see their power and use it in a political way,” said Brigham. “Women can bring unique perspectives to the political process with different life experiences.”
According to Axios, there will be at least 40 women of color headed to the House, and five of the 16 gubernatorial candidates. In addition, 13 LGBTQ women nominees ran for the U.S. House and Senate, and three ran for governor.
“Seminole County has seen a shift from being reliably red to a swing county. While we don’t support or endorse individual candidates, like many other counties, we saw a greater number of women running for office,” said Sharon Lynn, President of the League of Women Voters of Seminole County. “Women in Seminole County won elections at the municipal, countywide, as well as state and national levels.”
The League of Women Voters promotes nonpartisan, informed voting and encourages civic involvement. They supported Amendment 4 and were gratified to see it pass with bipartisan support, thus expanding voting rights to over 1.4 million potential voters.
In addition to the voter turn-out women of various backgrounds made history. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to the House and Lou Leon Guerrero became the first woman governor of Guam.
Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia became Texas's first two Latina congresswomen, Ayana Pressley became the first black woman to be elected to Congress by Massachusetts, Jahana Hayes became the first black woman to be elected to Congress by Connecticut, and Young Kim of California became the first Korean American woman in Congress.
Additionally, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to the House, Angie Craig became the first openly lesbian mother in Congress and the first openly LGBT member of Congress from Minnesota, Sharice Davids is the first openly LGBT woman of color in Congress and will join Deb Haaland, as the first Native American women elected to Congress.
Women also won elections in Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, and Maine. The record could continue to grow if Georgia's Stacey Abrams wins.
A majority of the women who ran were Democrats. Of the 276 women on the ballot Tuesday in House, Senate and governor's races, 77 percent were Democrats.
While hard to predict, some are expecting the number of women who are filing to run for the 2020 election to double from the number that was in Florida this year. Only the future will tell if the wave of women in politics will continue to grow.