Catherine Cortez Masto Will Be The First Latina To Serve In The Senate

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democrat from Nevada, will be the first Latina to serve in the history of the U.S. Senate.

The AP reports that Cortez Masto is the projected winner of the Senate seat, beating Republican Joe Heck. She will replace outgoing Minority Leader Harry Reid, who announced last year that he would retire at the end of his current term.

Cortez Masto will be one of only four women of color in the Senate, joining Mazie Hirono of Hawaii; Kamala Harris, the senator-elect from California; and Tammy Duckworth, the senator-elect from Illinois. Despite the fact that 28% of Nevadans identify as Hispanic or Latino, Cortez Masto will be the state’s first U.S. senator of Latin descent.

January will mark the first time there are multiple women of color serving at the same time in the U.S. Senate. In 1992, Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois became the first Black woman to be elected to the Senate. In 2013, Hirono took a Senate seat to represent Hawaii — but there have never been multiple women of color serving concurrently.

"This moment is long overdue and the entire Emily’s List community is proud to celebrate this historic victory," said Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily's List, which has supported Cortez Masto since the start of her campaign.

Cortez Masto served as the attorney general of Nevada from 2007 to 2015.

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