It may some time before the nation has a clear picture of who will control the House and Senate following the 2022 midterm elections, but women candidates from both parties are celebrating historic victories, especially in governorships.
Republicans diversified their ranks with an increasing number of female governors while Democrats emerged in state-wide offices with greater LGBTQ representation. For women voters in particular, the issues of inflation and reproductive rights dominated the ballot in states like California, Vermont and Michigan.
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – who centered her campaign around protecting a woman’s right to choose – won her re-election bid in the swing-state of Michigan.
According to the Center for American Women in Politics, Whitmer’s victory contributes to at least 10 women who have already won gubernatorial elections in 2022. With two uncalled races in Arizona and Oregon that involve only women candidates, that means at least 12 women will serves as governors in 2023, shattering a record of nine that has stood since 2004.
Here's look at the women who made history so far in the 2022 midterm elections:
Maura Healey: First woman, first out lesbian elected as governor of Massachusetts
Democratic state Attorney General Maura Healey will be the first openly lesbian governor in U.S. history, as well as the first woman elected as governor of Massachusetts, NBC News projects. While Jane Swift previously served as governor of Massachusetts in 2001 after her predecessor was tapped for an ambassadorship, Maura Healey makes history as the state’s first woman elected for the role, according to the CAWP.
Her ticket with running mate Kim Driscoll is especially historic as it marks the first time women will serve as both governor and lieutenant governor of an American state.
Kathy Hochul: First woman elected as governor of New York
Democrat Kathy Hochul will be the first elected female governor of New York, NBC News projects. Leading by about seven percentage points, Hochul became the first woman to serve as governor of New York after the resignation of her predecessor – Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) – and her ascension to the role in August of 2021.
Hochul won a tough challenge from Republican Lee Zeldin despite the fact that registered Democrats in the state outnumber Republican voters by a margin of two to one.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: First woman elected as governor of Arkansas
Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders – former Trump White House press secretary – will be the first female governor of Arkansas, NBC News projects. Arkansas will join Massachusetts as one of the first states in history to have women serving concurrently as governor and lieutenant governor with the projected win by Republican Leslie Rutledge for the state’s lieutenant governor, according to the CAWP.
Becca Balint: First woman elected to Congress from Vermont
Democrat Becca Balint will make history as the first woman to represent the state after winning Vermont’s at-large Congressional District race, NBC News projected. Her decisive victory puts an end to Vermont’s distinction as the only state never to have sent a woman to Capitol Hill. She will also be the first LGBTQ person in Congress.
Katie Britt: First woman elected to the Senate from Alabama
Republican Katie Britt will be the first woman elected to the Senate from Alabama, NBC News projects. She is the former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and follows the success of her predecessor, retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby.
Other women had been appointed to the seat previously, according to the CAWP. Senator Dixie Bibb Graves was appointed to fill a vacancy in the 1930s and Senator Marion Pittman Allen was appointed to fill the term of her deceased husband in the 1970s.
Tina Kotek: First out lesbian elected as governor of Oregon
Democrat Tina Kotek has won the race for governor in Oregon, NBC News projects, narrowly defeating Republican Christine Drazan.
With her victory Kotek will be one of the first out lesbian governors in the United States. She joins another out lesbian governor-elect, Democrat Maura Healey of Massachusetts, in making history in the 2022 midterms.
Kotek previously broke barriers as the country’s first out lesbian speaker of a state House of Representatives, in 2013, and holding on to that role to become the state chamber's longest-serving speaker.
Aruna Miller: Maryland’s first Asian-American woman elected as Lt. Gov
The win for Democrat Wes Moore and running mate Aruna Miller for Maryland’s governor and lieutenant governor makes Miller the first immigrant and first Asian-American woman elected to statewide executive office. For Moore, he becomes the state’s first Black governor.
Andrea Campbell: First Black woman elected as Attorney General in Massachusetts
Democrat Andrea Campbell will be the first African-American woman elected to statewide executive office in Massachusetts as Attorney General, NBC News projects. The former Boston City Council president unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Boston in 2021 before seeking the attorney general position. Attorney General Maura Healey, who successfully ran for governor, has supported Campbell’s bid for attorney general, according to NBC Boston affiliate WBTS. She has pointed to gun restrictions, mental health and the opioid crisis as issues she’d prioritize if elected.
Delia Ramirez: First Latina elected to Congress from Illinois
Democratic state Rep. Delia Ramirez is the winner in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, NBC News projects, defeating Republican Justin Burau. Ramirez' win makes her the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois.
Anna Paulina Luna: First Mexican-American woman elected to Congress from Florida
The Trump-backed Republican – a U.S. Air Force veteran and conservative commentator – joins the red wave that has dominated the Florida races, becoming the state’s first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress. She will represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District, the AP reported.
Summer Lee: First Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania
Democratic state representative Summer Lee will become the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in the state’s 12th Congressional District, according to AP.
Marcy Kaptur: Longest-serving woman in Congress
The 76-year-old Democratic congresswoman managed to hold onto her seat after a competitive race. Her 21st-term win makes her the longest-serving woman in Congress. The record was previously set by former Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who served in the House and Senate for a total of 40 years.
Yadira Caraveo: First Latina elected to Congress in Colorado
Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo won one of Colorado's most competitive races for the new 8th Congressional District. A pediatrician and daughter of Mexican immigrants, Caraveo used her medical background to endorse bills on healthcare issues while in the state House. She sponsored the reproductive health equity act which codified the right to an abortion into state law.
Caraveo will become the first Latina to represent Colorado in Congress.