At least 50 women of color (including 46 Democrats) will serve in the next Congress, breaking the previous record of 48 set in the last elections, according to a report Thursday by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
The winners included a record number of women of color heading to the U.S. House — 47 of whom already won seats, compared to the previous record of 44 in 2018. Another three women of color remain in races that have not yet been called.
A record number of women overall are headed to the House in 2021.
Sarah Silbiger via Getty Images Rep.-elect Cori Bush (D-Mo.) arrives for the House freshman orientation Thursday in Washington.
The trailblazing candidates followed in the footsteps of barrier-breaking lawmakers elected in 2018, including the first Muslim women elected to Congress, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.); the first Native American women, Reps. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) and Deb Haaland (D-N.M.); and the youngest congresswoman ever, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). All won reelection in 2020.
Of the 47 women who won House seats so far, 25 are Black, surpassing the previous record of 22 Black women in the House who were elected in the midterms, and 13 are Latina, beating the previous record of 12.
No women of color were elected to the Senate this year, and none of the four women of color currently serving in the body were up for reelection.
Sen. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris of California leaves the Senate in January. It remains to be seen if Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will appoint a woman of color to replace her.
“We’re heartened by the progress made this year in electing women of color to the House, but it is clear that there is much work left undone,” Center for American Women and Politics Director Debbie Walsh said. “Expanding the diversity of experiences among the people who represent us improves outcomes for all Americans.”
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