Leadership and Civic Engagement, News
More Women at the Table: Midterm Election Updates
by Ashley Lidow on Nov 7, 2018
The results are in and we at WREN have been closely watching the midterms to see who will represent us at the SC Statehouse and beyond. Reports are showing that there was incredible voter turnout with the SC Elections Commission estimating more the 55.7% of voters casting ballots this cycle. That is the second highest percentage since the record 63% in the 1994 election.
The gender demographics at the SC Statehouse will look similar to this last session with 22 females elected to the House in this election, but will include 4 new faces- Annie McDaniel in District 41, Paula Rawl Calhoon in District 87, Mandy W Kimmons in District 97, and Krystle Simmons in District 117. All the elections results can be seen here:
Nationally women broke records both in numbers and firsts:
- More women won: 94 women have won their House races (up from current 84) and at least 13 women won Senate seats (and that doesn’t include the 10 female senators not up for re-election this year). That means 117 women will serve in the 116th Congress.
- First Muslim women: Democrat Rashida Tlaib, in Michigan’s 13th District, and Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, from that state’s 5th District, both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib will also be the first Palestinian-American to serve in Congress.
- Youngest woman: Twenty-nine-year-old Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress, in New York’s 14th District. The woman currently holding that distinction is Rep. Elise Stefanik, also from New York, who was elected in 2014 at age 30.
- First Native American women: Democrat Sharice Davids won the House seat from Kansas’ 3rd District, unseating incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder, and Democrat Deb Haaland won the seat in an open race in New Mexico’s 1st District. That makes both of them the first Native American women elected to Congress. Republican Yvette Herrell in New Mexico’s 2nd District could become the third member of this group, but the Associated Press has not yet called her race.
- First black woman from Massachusetts: Democrat Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, in that state’s 7th District. She unseated incumbent Democrat Mike Capuano in a surprise upset in September.
- First women House members from Iowa: Democrat Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st District defeated Republican incumbent Rod Blum, and Democrat Cindy Axne in the state’s 3rd District defeated Republican incumbent David Young to become the Hawkeye state’s first two women elected to the House. Iowa elected its first woman to the Senate in 2014 — Republican Joni Ernst.
- First Latina Congress members from Texas: Democrat Veronica Escobar, in the state’s 16th District, and Democrat Sylvia Garcia, in the state’s 29th District, will be the first Latinas to represent the state in Congress, according to the Texas Tribune.
- First woman elected governor of Iowa: Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds became the first woman elected governor of Iowa. She served as lieutenant governor of the state from 2011 through 2017, then became governor when then-Gov. Terry Branstad was appointed ambassador to China for the Trump administration in 2017.
To see more data on this:
Elections are just one step in flexing our civic engagement muscles and we hope that everyone will continue their participation in our democracy. WREN will continue to educate policymakers on the issues facing women and girls in South Carolina and we cannot do that work without you. 2019 legislative session here we come!