The Biggest ‘Winner’ of the 2022 Midterms? Women.

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By Christina Lorey
November 9, 2022

Both Democrats and Republicans are celebrating historic victories for Latino women, LGBTQ+ women, and all women. Period.

Massachusetts elected its first female governor and the country’s first openly lesbian state executive, Democratic state Attorney General Maura Healey.  

Arkansas elected its first female governor and lieutenant governor, former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Republican Leslie Rutledge. 

Arkansas and Massachusetts are now the first two states to have women serving concurrently as both governor and lieutenant governor.

Alabama voters elected their first female senator, Republican Katie Britt. Britt will succeed her former boss, retiring GOP Sen. Richard Shelby. Two women have previously represented Alabama in the Senate, but both were appointed to fill vacancies, not elected.

California officially elected its first Black secretary of state, Democrat Shirley Weber. Weber had been serving in the position for the past year, after the governor picked her to succeed Alex Padilla, who was appointed to fill Vice President Kamala Harris’ seat in the US Senate.

Connecticut voters elected their first Black woman secretary of state, Democrat Stephanie Thomas. 

Illinois elected its first Latina to Congress, Democrat Delia Ramirez. The daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, Ramirez was also the first Guatemalan American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly.

Maryland elected its first Asian American lieutenant governor, Democrat Aruna Miller. Miller immigrated to the US from India as a child.

New York voters elected their first woman governor, Democrat Kathy Hochul, who has been serving in the role since Andrew Cuomo resigned last year.

Ohio re-elected Democrat Marcy Kaptur for a history-making 21st term. Kaptur will become the longest-serving woman in Congress when she’s sworn in next year, breaking the record set by Barbara Mikulski, who represented Maryland in the House and Senate for a combined 40 years.

Pennsylvania elected its first Black woman to Congress, Democrat Summer Lee. She will succeed retiring Democrat Rep. Mike Doyle. 

Vermont finally elected its first woman representative to Congress, Democrat Becca Balint. Vermont has now lost its distinction as the only state never to have sent a woman to Congress. Balint will also be the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to Congress from Vermont.

Other History-Making Results

Florida voters sent the first member of Generation Z to Congress, Democrat Maxwell Frost. Generation Z refers to those born after 1996. Frost will succeed Val Demings, who vacated the seat to challenge Marco Rubio in the US Senate race.

California elected its first out LGBTQ+ immigrant to Congress, Democrat Robert Garcia. Garcia immigrated from Peru in the early ‘80s when he was 5 years old.

California voters also elected their first Latino senator, Democrat Alex Padilla. As mentioned earlier, Padilla had been serving in the position since Kamala Harris was elected Vice President.

Maryland elected its first Black governor, Democrat Wes Moore. Moore, an Army veteran and nonprofit executive, becomes only the third Black person elected governor in US History. 

Michigan elected its first Indian American congressperson, Democrat Shri Thanedar. He immigrated to the US from India. 

Oklahoma elected its first Native American senator in nearly 100 years, Republican Markwayne Mullin. Mullin is a member of Cherokee Nation.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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