During Tuesday's statewide elections in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Virginia, women, particularly Democrats, won big in many ways. On the heels of the 2018 midterms, when a historic number of women were elected, and going into 2020, this will hopefully serve as another reminder that women are "electable."
"As we have watched more women running, winning, and having an impact, we are reminded that much of the success for women candidates has been on the Democratic side," Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), said in a statement provided to Refinery29. "We remain hopeful that Republican women will see the same levels of support that have driven recent gains for Democratic women."
From first-time women-majority city councils to the Equal Rights Amendment coming closer than ever to becoming a reality, ahead are all the victories women achieved last night.
Women helped turn the Virginia state legislature blue for the first time in 20 years.
Women set a new record in Virginia on Tuesday, with 41 seats in the state legislature, including 30 in the House of Delegates. The Democratic control is significant for everything from reproductive rights to gun reform laws to the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Also, current Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn is likely to become the new Speaker of the House of Delegates, which would make her the first woman to hold that position.
Speaking of the Equal Rights Amendment...
After Democrats took control of both the House and Senate, Virginia is closer to being the 38th and final state needed to ratify the ERA. This doesn't quite mean the battle for the ERA is over, but advocates believe this is a major step.
A record number of Muslim women and refugees were elected.
Ghazala Hashmi became the first Muslim woman elected to the Virginia state Senate. "After flipping the Senate, I'll have Democrats by my side to fight to protect Virginians from the climate crisis and senseless gun violence, and work to expand our access to affordable healthcare and funding for public education," she said in a statement. At the same time, Somali-American women across the country, from Maine to Minnesota, were elected in historic firsts.
Danica Roem became the first openly trans person to win reelection in a state legislature.
Roem, who was first elected in 2018 to represent Virginia's 13th District, defeated Republican Kelly McGinn with about 56% of the vote, according to the Associated Press.
"Delegate Roem has been an effective leader in Richmond & she isn’t finished yet. We look forward to continue working with this amazing legislator to advance equality for all!" Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David tweeted.
That woman who flipped off Trump on her bike was actually elected.
Juli Briskman, who lost her government-contractor job as a result of flipping off Trump's motorcade, was elected to a Virginia county's board of supervisors. How's that for a comeback?
It was a victory for reproductive rights in Kentucky.
Governor-elect Andy Beshear defeated anti-abortion Gov. Matt Bevin, although Republicans still control the legislature. "Tonight's results also make it clear that the misleading, fear-mongering attacks on abortion from Republicans in Kentucky and Virginia failed because voters overwhelmingly support the right for people to make their own healthcare decisions without politicians getting in the way," Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, said in a statement provided to Refinery29.
In Knoxville, the city council will be composed of seven women and two men. Boston's 13-member council will have eight women, with a more racially diverse makeup than ever.
Rochelle Bilal, a former police officer, ran unopposed. She defeated Jewel Williams, who has been accused of sexual harassment by three women, in the May primary.