Though Hillary Clinton may have failed to shatter the “highest, hardest glass ceiling” in American politics Tuesday night, women achieved another electoral milestone in congressional races, electing three more women of color to the Senate in races across the country.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto were all elected to the United States Senate, quadrupling the number of women of color in Congress’s upper chamber. They will join Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who was elected in 2012 and became the chamber’s first Asian-American member, according to the Huffington Post.
Cortez Masto, who narrowly defeated Republican Joe Heck to replace the retiring Sen. Harry Reid, will become the first Latina senator ever in the chamber’s history. Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who easily defeated incumbent Republican Mark Kirk for his U.S. Senate seat, claims Asian descent through her Thai mother. Kamala Harris, who defeated fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez for the seat vacated by Sen. Barbara Boxer, is Indian-American through her mother.
Harris, by virtue of her Jamaican father, sets another precedent: She will also become the second black female senator in Congressional history after Carol Moseley Braun, who was herself a senator from Illinois from 1993 to 1999.
At least one race for a seat in the House of Representatives also set landmarks — Pramila Jayapal, who is Indian-American, of Washington was elected to the House easily over another Democratic challenger, the Associated Press reported early Wednesday.
The Senate currently has 20 female members, while the House has 84.