Pink Wave: Record number of women to serve in Congress following midterms

New York Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in Queens the Queens borough of New York, after defeating Republican challenger Anthony Pappas in the race for the 14th Congressional district of New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

A record-breaking number of women will serve in the U.S. House of Representatives next year after Tuesday’s election changed the makeup of Congress.

Tuesday’s midterms sent the election into the record books and some newly elected congresswomen said it’s just the beginning.

Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton were among the group of at least 118 women in the next session of the House. Currently, out of the 435 seats, 84 are held by women. That is 19.3 percent.

“It’s a positive trend, but half of the population is underrepresented,” said University of Mary Washington political science professor Rosalyn Cooperman.

“It’s a good start and we’ll see what happens in the next couple of years,” said Ivy Rogoff-Barnes, an Atlanta resident.

Some Capitol Hill visitors were excited with the possibility of new perspective in Congress and the future of women in American politics.

“It shows that they can do whatever they want to. That their voice is just as important as any man’s voice. I think they’ve known that though. I think the girls nowadays are growing up like that,” said mother of two girls Heidi Veldman of Vienna, VA.

“It’s going to be a good change,” Atlanta resident Greg Freels said. “Looking forward to it.”

“There’s just so many more women in power, so I think our voices can be heard,” said Cindy Hernandez, Odenton, Maryland, resident.

“Hopefully it brings a little more civility to the whole affair,” said Stephen Staska, an Alaska resident.

There were more firsts on Tuesday as well. Voters elected two Native American women, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, and two Muslim women, Ilhan Omar and Rashid Tlaib. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old New Yorker will be Congress’ youngest member.

The new session of Congress begins Jan. 3 and with that, the new makeup of the 435 representatives in the House.

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