Here are some of the newly elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have broken ground with their wins
Elected First Black Member of Congress from the Pacific Northwest
Marilyn Strickland has drawn criticism from the left for her work as head of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Marilyn Strickland is projected winner of the race for Washington’s 10th Congressional District, making her the first Black member of Congress from the Pacific Northwest, and the first ever Korean-American woman in the legislative body.
Strickland, 58, a former mayor of Tacoma and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, defeated state Rep. Beth Doglio, 55, who had the backing of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and other left-leaning groups. Both women are Democrats.
Thanks to Washington state’s nonpartisan, “jungle” primary system, which enables the two top vote-getters to proceed to the general election regardless of party, both general election candidates this year were Democrats.
The outcome is “an indication, along with other indications we’ve had this year, like Joe Biden’s victory in the Democratic presidential primary, that the claims that all the energy in the party is on the left, and the progressive wing is on the ascendancy, are not precisely right,” Kaushik said. “The story is more complicated than that. There are two wings of the Democratic Party, and they both have great strengths.”
Jones and Torres
First Openly Black Gay Members of Congress
Mondaire Jones, 33, and Ritchie Torres, 32, both of New York, made history Tuesday night as the first two openly gay Black men to be elected to Congress.
The Democratic representatives-elect will enter the House in January. Jones won a June primary to replace retiring Rep. Nita Lowey in New York’s 17th District. Torres, who is also of Latino heritage, won his primary to replace Rep. José Serrano, a 16-term Democrat who was retiring from his seat in the 15th District. Seven years ago, Torres became the first openly gay elected official to serve on the New York City Council.
“Representation matters, and our community is making history,” National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director David Johns said. “We all need windows and mirrors to help us make sense of who we are and how we show up in the world, and this is especially true for Black trans, queer, and non-binary people who rarely see affirming examples of ourselves reflected in the world.”
Elected to Replace Late John Lewis in U.S.
Georgia State Sen. Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, beat Republican Angela Stanton-King in the Atlanta-based district to replace the late Congressman John Lewis in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Williams said she wants to use federal power to provide more subsidized health care and guarantee voting rights.
Democrats chose Williams, 42, to run for the 5th Congressional district after Lewis passed. Georgia’s 39th district senator campaigned on a platform of “good trouble,” invoking Lewis’ creed and promising to “protect his legacy.” She vowed to fight for Medicare for All, universal family care, and against rampant voter suppression tactics.
Williams defeated Angela Stanton-King in a landslide victory. Stanton-King, a staunch Republican and founder of the American King Foundation, blasted the Democrats for what she believed was poor leadership. She pilloried the party for fostering an environment of lawlessness and accused Williams of feeling “entitled” to the seat.
Becomes Missouri’s First Black Congresswoman
Cori Bush has been elected to Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, making her the first Black Congresswoman in the history of Missouri.
Bush became politically active in 2014 protesting the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. “Mike Brown was murdered 2,278 days ago,” Bush wrote on Twitter. “We took to the streets for more than 400 days in protest. Today, we take this fight for Black Lives from the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress. We will get justice.”
Bush’s platform includes Medicare for all, $15 federal minimum wage and criminal justice reform. Bush continued on Twitter detailing what this win means for her and many more. “I will be the first woman to represent Missouri’s First District in its 173 year history. We have seen a 74% increase in women voters here since 2016. Representation matters. A system that works for everyone matters,” Bush wrote.