‘Younger, browner, cooler’: The candidates who made history | USA News

Wednesday

This year’s US midterm elections have already made history, with a record number of women, Native Americans, and Muslim candidates running for office.

Commenting on the Democrats taking the House, CNN’s Van Jones pointed to the diversity of candidates that won seats in this midterms.

Jones said on Tuesday night that the “new Democratic Party” is now “younger, browner” and cooler”.

“It is the end of one-party rule in the United States, thank God, and the beginning of a new Democratic Party: Younger, browner, cooler, more women, more veterans.”

As results from Tuesday’s votes continue to stream in, here are the candidates who have made history:

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar

First Muslim women elected to Congress

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are expected to become the first Muslim congresswomen [AP Photo]

Both Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar won in their Democrat-safe seats becoming the first Muslim congresswomen.

Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents, and Omar arrived in the US at the age of 14 after fleeing civil war in Somalia.

Omar is also the first Somali American to serve in the US Congress.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Youngest woman elected to Congress

New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez participates in a town hall meeting [Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th District and has now made history as the youngest woman to join Congress.

Born to a father from South Bronx and a mother from Puerto Rico, Ocasio-Cortez was an organiser for the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids

Joint first Native American women elected to Congress 

Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids [AP Photo] 

Deb Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, is the first Native American woman elected to Congress, alongside Sharice Davids.

Haaland said she will prioritise climate change, as well as a number of other progressive issues, such as Medicare-for-all and debt-free education. 

Davids is a Cornell Law School graduate and professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter, who was raised by a single mother.

She is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a Native American tribe that hails from Wisconsin. 

The former White House fellow under Obama, is openly gay and an advocate for LGBT issues. She was elected to the third congressional district in Kansas.

Jared Polis

First openly gay governor

Jared Polis is one of the richest members of the House of Representatives [David Zalubowsk/AP Photo]

With a net worth of close to $400m, Democrat Jared Polis is already one of the richest members of the House of Representatives but in winning the Colorado gubernatorial contest, he became the first openly gay governor of a state.

Ayanna Pressley

Massachusetts’s first black congresswoman 

Democratic candidate for US House of Representatives Ayanna Pressley points to her supporters after winning the Democratic primary in Massachusetts [Brian Snyder/Reuters]

Democrat Ayanna Pressley surprised many when she upset 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano during Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District primary.

She ran uncontested on November 6 to become the state’s first black congresswoman. 

Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia 

Texas’s first Latina congresswomen

Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia are running in Democratic strongholds [AP Photo] 

In a state with a Hispanic population of close to 40 percent, in 2018 Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia became the first women of Latin American origin to represent Texas in the House of Representatives.

Escobar was elected to Texas’s 16th District, while Garcia won the state’s 29th District.

Lou Leon Guerrero

First female governor of a US territory 

Democrat Lou Leon Guerrero won Tuesday’s election by a broad enough margin that she would not have to face a runoff vote.

She became the ninth governor-elect of Guam, which has a population of some 162,000. Her victory marked the first time in 15 years that Democrats controlled the territory’s governorship. 

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