Breakthrough: 20 Women in the U.S. Senate

With the number of women serving in the U.S. Senate plateaued for years, voters elected 5 new women to join the 15 remaining in January 2013. AT 20–it is the highest number ever.

The new Senators are: Democrats Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts (who crushed the incumbent), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (the first open lesbian to serve in the Senate) from Wisconsin, Democratic Rep. Mazie Hirono from Hawaii (becoming the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate and the Senate’s first Buddhist), and former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, and Republican Nebraska state legislator Deb Fischer.


Interesting sidenote: Hirono defeated former governor Linda Lingle, Hawaii”s first woman governor.

This from Center for American Women in Politics:

“A total of 11 women won their Senate races (10D, 1R), including five newcomers and six incumbents who won reelection.
Also remaining in the Senate are nine women (6D, 3R) who were not up for election this year.
 The five newcomers include four women who won open seats: Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Heidi
Heitkamp (D) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); and one woman who defeated an incumbent: Elizabeth Warren (DMA).
 The newcomers join six incumbents who won re-election: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI),
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
In 2012, there were 17 women (12D, 5R) in the Senate. Two Republican women (Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX and
Olympia Snowe, R-ME) did not run for re-election.”

In the House: a slight increase in the number of women but still stalled at 17%.

This from the Center for American Women in Politics:

“U.S. House of Representatives
With two races not yet called, 18 new women (15D, 3R) have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, joining
59 incumbents who won re-election. The previous record number of women serving in the House was 73, which occurred
between 2009 and 2012. When the 113th Congress convenes, it will include the largest class of women newcomers since
The women serving in the U.S. House as of January 2013 will include at least:
• 59 (42D, 17R) re-elected incumbents
• 4 (4D) women who defeated incumbent members of Congress
• 14 (11D, 3R) women who won open House seats.”
Press Release

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