Record Number of Women Elected to Congress
Elizabeth Warren on Election Night.
Elizabeth Warren, D-MAWarren defeated incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, to become the first female Senator from Massachusetts. As a harsh critic of the banking industry and self-professed inspiration of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Warren managed to combat an early disadvantage at the polls to take back the seat held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy for decades.
Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.Lieutenant Colonel Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran who lost both of her legs in combat before turning to politics, managed to defeat freshman Rep. Joe Walsh, a Republican, to win the seat for Illinois’ 8th congressional district. The race between Duckworth, a Democrat, and Walsh was far from amicable. Walsh, a Tea Party favorite, notably criticized Duckworth’s military service – accusing her of exploiting her experience and related injuries – for political gain, before his candidacy absolutely collapsed after he suggested abortion was never necessary to save a woman’s life.
Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.Senator-elect Baldwin, D-Wisc., is the first openly gay senator to be elected to Congress, a success LGBT organizations are hailing as evidence that political candidates should be judged by their qualifications for the job, and not their sexual orientation. Baldwin, a seven-term congresswoman, won a tough race against former four-term Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, R, who the secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush. Although Thompson said she did not run for office with the intention of making history, she said her success will bring diversity to the senate that will ultimately be more reflective of the American electorate. "People ... see our country and our states moving toward full equality in many respects," Baldwin told CNN. "When you have legislative bodies that look more like America, that happens."
Deb Fischer, R-Neb.State Sen. Deb Fischer (R) will succeed current Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the upper chamber next year. The little-known state legislator defeated Democrat Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska state senator and governor, after winning a three-way Republican primary in an upset earlier this year. Fischer will be the first woman to represent Nebraska in the senate since 1954.
Tulsi Gabbard, D-HawaiiCaptain Tulsi Gabbard, who served in the Army National Guard, had a landslide victory over he opponent to win the seat for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Gabbard was a member of the Honolulu City Council before becoming the youngest state representative in Hawaii history in 2002. She resigned from her position in the legislature in 2004 to deploy with her unit to Iraq, before returning to serve as a legislative aide for Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka. Gabbard is the first Hindu to be elected to Congress.
If there was actually a war on women during the 2012 election, it’s safe to say that women clearly won.
A record number of women will now serve in the U.S. Congress, following sweeping victories for those candidates in both the Senate and House of Representatives on Election Day. The victory, in addition to proving that rape apologist theories don't actually fly with the American electorate, also demonstrates that the embodiment of successful, female figures in command is something embraced by men and women of different ages, races and income levels across the nation.
Twenty women will now serve in the 100-member Senate and at least 81 of the 435 seats in the House will be represented by women. And there are several first: A number of congressional districts and Senate seats will now have its first female representative, while the upper chamber is about to welcome its first openly gay female senator.
Bonus: The country is about to see its first all-female delegation -- U.S. senators, U.S. House members and a governor (who will be the only Democratic female governor in the nation)– in New Hampshire.
Here are some of the new female faces joining the House and Senate in 2013.