Women, People Of Color Are Big Winners In Tuesday's Election Results

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Results from Tuesday's primaries and special elections across America indicate that general election races could be historical for women and people of color.

Who were Tuesday night’s election winners? In many cases, they were women and people of color. 

A New Mexico Democratic candidate for Congress is on her way to making history, poised to become the first female Native American representative to serve in the House of Representatives. Deb Haaland defeated her opponents in her primary on Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination for the First Congressional District of New Mexico.

The victory all but assures her of a win in November, as The Cook Political Report currently projects the open seat as a Democratic win this November, doing so even before Haaland’s win on Tuesday.

If Haaland does indeed win in the general election, she will make significant history: No other Native American candidate who was a woman has ever won office to serve in Congress.

Also in New Mexico, Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (who currently represents the district Haaland is vying to win) was victorious in her own primary battle to run for governor in the state. That race may be a tad more difficult for Lujan Grisham to win, although The Cook Political Report also projects that position of government to be in the “lean Democratic” column.

If she wins in November, Lujan Grisham would be the first female governor of New Mexico, an important feat in itself. But she would also become the first Latina governor ever in the nation.

Outside of New Mexico, Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy veteran, won the Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. The seat, currently held by Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, became a toss up when Frelinghuysen announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. If she wins this fall, Sherrill would be just the second woman out of New Jersey’s current 14-member delegation to the House.

Millennial women are also making an impact on this electoral season. Abby Finkenauer won the Democratic primary in Iowa’s First Congressional District to take on GOP Rep. Rod Blum, a seat that’s also considered a toss up.

Although currently behind in her own Democratic primary, outstanding ballots not yet counted could mean that Sara Jacobs in California’s 49th Congressional District could also be a millennial candidate to get behind, potentially taking a seat currently held by Republican Darrell Issa.

Both Finkenauer and Jacobs are 29 years old.

Finally, in yet another sign of an impending “blue wave” set to hit national and local elections this November, Democrats picked up a special election win in Missouri on Tuesday, flipping their 42nd state legislative seat away from Republicans since President Donald Trump took office.

Democratic candidate Lauren Arthur defeated Republican Kevin Corlew by 19 percentage points — in a district the president won in 2016 by 4 points. That 23-point turnaround should worry GOP campaign staffers, as it’s a trend that’s happening in many places across the country.

More needs to be done, of course, and we should encourage more women and people of color (our sisters, mothers, daughters, and more) to run for office. Both parties should do so, but it’s apparent that much of the swing that Democrats are seeing in their favor is happening because of women and racial minorities.

Those trends shouldn’t be ignored, and the party must continue making strides to promote inclusiveness among its ranks. Prompted by huge wins on Tuesday, as well as other wins by women of color seen in places like Georgia and elsewhere, Democrats have a real opportunity to change statehouse and Congress for the better this fall.

Banner/thumbnail image credit: U.S. Congress/Wikimedia Commons

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