Black text reading ‘Yes she can’ with pink background

Women Win in 2018 Midterms

By Kaitlyn Benacquisto
Web Content Contributor

Erin Zwiener standing behind a podium talking to audience during a town hall
Erin Zwiener participating in a town hall before midterm elections. Photo by Kaitlyn Benacquisto.

Midterms have come and gone. I think most people are probably having mixed feelings about the results, no matter what party you associate with– Democrats will take control of the House while Republicans will maintain control of the Senate. Parties aside, this midterm election was a huge win for women.

Locally, we elected some women into positions of power. Hays County voted in favor of Erin Zwiener who will now be our representative in the Texas state legislature. Zwiener was called a real-life Leslie Knope by Samantha Bee. Zwiener ran last year in the primaries while pregnant, and has since had her baby. During this election season you could find her block-walking with her baby on her hip. Zwiener is also the author of a children’s book and a three-time Jeopardy winner–an icon for women everywhere, really. San Marcos also elected Jane Hughson as our mayor, pushing out incumbent John Thomaides.

Statewide, Texas elected it’s first two Latina congresswomen, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia. In Harris county, which encompasses Houston, 19 black women ran for judicial seats and each of the 19 women were elected.

Elsewhere, Michigan and Minnesota elected the first Muslim women into Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Iham Omar respectively. Massachusetts elected Ayanna Pressley, the states first black congresswoman. In Connecticut, Jahana Hayes also became the states first black congresswoman. New York elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, age 29, the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress along with Abby Finkenauer from Iowa.

A particularly inspiring story is that of Lucia McBath. Her son, Jordan Davis, was shot at age 17 back in 2012 for playing music too loudly at a gas station. After her son’s death, McBath quit her job as a flight attendant and began advocating for gun control, becoming a national spokeswoman for gun control activist groups. After the Parkland shooting, she felt she had to run for office to “stand up” for children. On Nov. 6, McBath was elected as congresswoman for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. After winning, she wrote on Twitter, “Absolutely nothing – no politician & no special interest – is more powerful than a mother on a mission.”

Now, almost 100 years after receiving the right to vote, women of all ages, religions, colors, and sexual orientations are being represented in our government. While there is still progress to be made, our government is finally becoming a more accurate reflection of the true demographics of America.

Featured Graphic by Hannah Wisterman.

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