The 2016 presidential election results came to a stunning end with Republican candidate Donald Trump winning the electoral college votes to become president, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the nation’s popular vote. It was a truly unexpected turn of events and the country was close to having its first female president in its 238 year history. Although we will have to wait a little longer for our first Madame President, we should not overlook the victories of women and minorities who were elected this year in other races. Progress was still made tonight.
The number of women of color in Congress is extremely lacking. Before yesterday, Mazie Hirono, was the only woman of color in Senate since 2006. She became the first and only Asian-American woman senator and the first female senator from Hawaii. But now, the number of women of color has increased in Senate. Kamala Harris became California senator and is the second black woman and first Indian-American woman elected in Senate. She was previously the California Attorney General. Tammy Duckworth became Illinois senator and is half Thai, half white. She is a military veteran, a double amputee, and has heritage that stretch all the way back to the Revolutionary war. And finally, Catherine Cortez Masto became Nevada’s first female senator and the first Latina female senator elected in America. She is of Mexican and Italian descent and served as Nevada’s Attorney General previously.
It’s not just in the Senate race that women and minorities had victories. Pramila Jayapal won the election to become a congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first Indian-American to do so. She will be representing Washington’s 7th congressional district. In Florida, Stephanie Murphy was elected to represent district 7 and became the first Vietnamese American to take office. She's a strong advocate for female entrepreneurs too! Ilhan Omar was elected in Minnesota’s District 60B and became the first female Somali-American Muslim legislator elected in America. She is a refugee from the Somali civil war and she proudly wears a hijab. Kate Brown is the first openly LGBT person to be elected as governor. She will be serving for Nevada.
This election may be over and Hillary Clinton may not have won, but the progress destined for this country has not ceased. We are excited for these women and their work!