Yorktown Sentry

The 2018 Midterms: Rewriting History

Courtesy of Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nina Rutzen, Sentry Staff Reporter

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The 2018 midterm elections changed the course of American history with the election of the first openly gay man and a record-breaking 117 women being elected to Congress. For the first time, many states have elected both women and minorities to represent them. However, these results would not have been the same without the support of the largest midterm voter turnout in over a century.

Colorado made history during the midterms with the election of Democrat Jared Polis, the first openly gay man to be elected to Congress. While some attributed his win to the fact that the Republican candidate was deemed too radical for the state, Polis says that during his campaign, he felt that people liked his ideas rather than only the fact that he is a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

Among the 117 women who won a place in office during the midterms were Democrats Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland. They were the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. Davids is an LGBTQ activist from Kansas who was a key player in the Obama-Trump transition with her position as a White House Fellow; Haaland represents the state of New Mexico and plans to highlight the importance of clean energy during her time in office.

Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota were yet another pair of Democratic women who made history during the midterms by being the first Muslim women to be elected to United States office. Omar’s election was also landmarked due to the fact that she was the first Somali-American woman elected to Congress. Tlaib’s parents are Muslim immigrants, and she continues to publicly voice her dislike for President Donald Trump’s administration, particularly his views on immigrants.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a millennial candidate who won her district in the state of New York. She sent shockwaves throughout America with her extremely progressive and socialist platform aimed at helping people across the country.

Tennessee’s elections were groundbreaking with the election of Marsha Blackburn as its first female senator in the state’s history. Blackburn is a member of the Republican party, and while some attributed her win to the support the National Rifle Association (NRA) gave her during her campaign, many people believe she won because of how well her views align with the majority of Tennessee’s population. During her campaign, she made an effort to let people know her plan to protect and keep the second amendment a right of the American people.

Maine was yet another state to elect its first female candidate to Congress. Janet Mills’ political career began with getting the position of Maine’s attorney general and will soon begin to serve as the state’s first female governor.

Massachusetts and Connecticut made history with the elections of their first black women in congress: Ayanna Pressley and Jahana Hayes. Pressley ran unopposed against a Republican candidate. Her history in politics roots back to 2009 when she was the first black woman to serve on the Boston City Council, eventually earning the title of one of Boston’s 50 Most Powerful People. Hayes is also a Democrat who won a prestigious award: 2016 National Teacher of the Year.

South Dakota also hit a landmark this election by nominating their first woman senator, Republican Kristi Noem. She has previous experience in the House of Representatives where she served two terms as a representative for the state of South Dakota.

Another state that made history during the midterm elections was Arizona. They elected their first female senator, Kyrsten Sinema, who was also the first bisexual person to be elected to Congress. Sinema is also the state’s first Democrat to be elected in 30 years. She has since inspired other Democrats who hope to win elections in Republican states.

Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia were yet another pair of women who changed the course of history by being the first Hispanic women to be elected to Congress by the state of Texas. Before she started her campaign for Congress, Escobar earned her credentials by being a commissioner and judge for her county. Garcia hopes to focus on the issues of healthcare, jobs and education during her time in office. Both of these women are members of the Democratic party.

The groundbreaking results of the midterms were emotional for many. Many of the elected congressmen are first-time candidates who set out to prove themselves to their state and the country. In their endeavors, they proved that the country has taken a giant leap forward to promote equality between women and the rights of the LGBTQ community.

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The 2018 Midterms: Rewriting History