2012 Elections: Historic Numbers for Female Politicians

Barack Obama has won reelection and has earned himself and the Democratic Party another four years in office.

But did you know about some other important names that were on ballots yesterday? More specifically — the twenty women who won their elections for Senate and the House of Representatives. Because if not, there are a few names worth celebrating.

Tammy Baldwin (Democrat), an openly gay woman, won the race for Senate in Wisconsin with 54.8% of the vote. On her Twitter account earlier this evening, she said:

Now I’m well aware that I will have the honor to be the first woman Senator from Wisconsin. And I’m well aware that I will be the first openly gay member of the United States Senate. I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference.

Deb Fischer (Republican), who just won the Nebraska Senate race with 58.2% of the vote, will be one of the only four female Republican Senators.

Mazie Hirono (Democrat), the former Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, is now the state’s first female Senator with 64.0% of the vote. Hirono first came to the United States when she and her mother fled domestic abuse in Japan.

Elizabeth Warren (Democrat) won the election for the Massachusetts Senate with 53.9% of the vote.

As for the women up for re-election, Maria Cantwell (Democrat) is still the Senator to the state of Washington after winning 59.4% of the voters. Dianne Feinstein (Democrat)  won 60.5% of the vote is still the Senator to California. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat), remains the Senator to Minnesota after earning 65.3% of the vote. Thankfully, Claire McCaskill beat out Todd Akin and his “legitimate rape” comments with 54.8% and thus remains the Senator to Missouri. As well, Debbie Stabenow (Democrat) is still the Senator to Michigan.

This means that of the 100 senators in the 113th Congress there will be at least 19 female senators, the most ever in U.S. history.

And let’s not forget about the House of Representatives!

While I personally am not a supporter, Michele Bachmann (Republican) continues to represent Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District after having won 50.4% of the vote. Cheri Bustos (Democrat), beat out her opponent and is now the representative of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District with 53.3% of the vote. Suzane DelBene (Democrat) is the representative of Washington’s 1st Congressional District.

Tammy Duckworth (Democrat) might be a name you recognize! She is an Iraqi war veteran who lost both of her legs in combat. She was up against Tea Party candidate Joe Walsh — best known for claiming that there should be no abortion exception for the life of the mother because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” where a woman would actually die. Walsh also accused Duckwroth of talking about her service for our country “too much” and implied that she wasn’t a “true hero”. He’s also one of the politicians who staunchly denies the existence of global warming. Duckworth is now the representative of Illinois’ 8th Congressional District.

Lois Frankel (Democrat) is now the representing Florida’s 22nd Congressional District and Ann Kirkpatrick (Democrat) is the representative of Arizona’s 1st Congressional District.

Krysten Sinema (Democrat), an openly bisexual, nontheist, pro-choice politican, has won the race to be the representative of Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. She will be the first openly bisexual member of Congress.

Louise Slaughter (Democrat), is representing New York’s 3rd Congressional District and Jackie Warlorski (Republican), is now the representative to Indian’s 2nd Congressional District.

Most interestingly, New Hampshire made history tonight by electing the first-ever all-women delegation. Currently there are two New Hampshire Senate incumbents, Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat) and Kelly Ayotte (Republican). After tonight they are joined by three newly elected women: Maggie Hassan (Democrat), who will be the only female Democratic Governor in 2013, and Representatives Carol Shea-Porter (Democrat) and Ann McLane Kuster (Democrat).

So celebrate Obama’s re-election if you so please — but be sure to give these women a round of applause. They continue to make strides in a male dominated political field and work to represent our voice in Congress. History was made last night in more ways than one, and we should recognize that.

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