- Soon-to-be members of the House of Representatives elected in last week’s midterm elections are currently gathering in Washington, DC, for pre-freshman orientation.
- There are significant disparities in the racial and gender diversity of the new members.
- All of the new Republicans are white, and just one is female. Among new Democrats, 64% are female, 37% identify as people of colour, and 24% identify as women of colour.
Soon-to-be members of the House of Representatives elected in last week’s midterm elections are in Washington, DC, for pre-freshman orientation – and there are stark differences in the diversity of the new members across party lines.
Out of the 31 new Republican members, 100% are white and heterosexual, and just one new Republican, Carol Miller of West Virginia, is female. Ten House races have yet to be officially called.
Among the 53 new Democrats, however, 34 of them of them (64%) are female, and 20 (37%) identify as people of colour.
Thirteen (24%) are women of colour. They also include four openly LGBTQ+ members: Katie Hill of California, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Angie Craig of Minnesota, and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire.
The new members of the 116th Congress! Noticeable diversity among the Democratic lawmakers (and lack of it among Republicans) pic.twitter.com/UGk6wmJaRV
— Natalie Andrews (@nataliewsj) November 13, 2018
While a record number of women – 114 to be exact – have been elected to serve in the 116th Congress so far, most of the gains in female representation have been in the Democratic Party, which gained a net 32 seats in the House and unseated several Republican women in the process.
A record number of women of colour, 40, who are mostly Democrats, will also serve in the upcoming term. This year, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan made history as the first Muslim women elected to Congress, while Davids of Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico will be the first Native American women.
Some Republican women, including Young Kim in California’s 39th District and Mimi Walters in California’s 45th, are hanging on to razor-thin leads in races that have not yet been called. If Kim is elected, she would America’s first Korean-American congresswoman.
Meanwhile in Utah, Mia Love, the GOP’s only African-American congresswoman, is poised to lose to Democrat Ben McAdams.
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