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2016 Election Wrap-Up

Election 2016 Wrap-Up

A highly contentious presidential campaign, coupled with questions about the control of Congress, made the 2016 election cycle one of the most closely followed in recent history. Although unsuccessful in her bid for the White House, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman to become a major party presidential nominee. When the 115th Congress convenes in January, there will be 109 women (including five delegates) serving in the Senate and the House.

The Senate will remain in Republican control and, as of press time, will include 51 Republicans and 48 Democrats when it convenes in January. The number of women elected this year, 21, represents a net increase over the previous record of 20, and includes five Republicans and 16 Democrats.

In addition to incumbent Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Patty Murray (D-WA), who won their re- election bids, four newly elected Senators will serve in the next Congress: Sens.-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

California, New Hampshire, and Washington State will continue to be represented by two women Senators, as Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) were not up for re-election this cycle. Sen.-elect Harris will replace Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who retired at the end of the 114th Congress, and Sen.-elect Hassan will replace Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the longest-serving woman in congressional history, retired at the end of the 114th Congress. With her retirement and Rep. Donna Edwards’ (D-MD) loss in the primary election, Maryland will be without a woman in its congressional delegation for the first time since Sen. Mikulski’s election to the House in 1977.

Republicans also will maintain control of the House, with a 240-194 advantage. Eighty-eight women (including the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the

U.S. Virgin Islands) will serve in the House in January, the same number as served in the 114th Congress. This number includes 23 Republicans and 65 Democrats.

Eleven women retired, lost their primaries, or left the House to pursue another office at the end of the 114th Congress. Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) retired from Congress, while Reps. Corrine Brown (D-FL), Edwards, and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) lost their primary bids. Rep. Gwen Graham (D- FL) left to pursue state office; Reps. Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Candice Miller (R-MI) left to pursue other elected offices. Rep. Duckworth will serve in the Senate; Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) were unsuccessful their Senate elections.

The 115th Congress will be the most diverse in the nation’s history, in part because women of color will increase their ranks in each chamber. Sen.-elect Harris will become the first South Asian and second African American woman to serve in the Senate, while Sen.-elect Cortez Masto will become the first Latina elected to the Senate. Sen.-elect Duckworth will join Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) as the only two Asian American women in the Senate.

In the House, Rep.-elect Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) will become the first woman and first African American to represent Delaware in Congress. Along with Rep.-elect Val Demings (D-FL), the number of African American women in the House will remain at 20 with the departures of Reps. Brown and Edwards.

Nine Latinas served in the 114th Congress. That number will increase to ten in January when Rep.-elect Nanette Barragán (D-CA) and Del.-elect Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR) are sworn in and Rep. Sánchez leaves office.

The election of Reps.-elect Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Stephanie Murphy (D- FL) will bring the number of Asian/Pacific American women in the House to eight once Sen.-elect Duckworth is sworn into the Senate. Six Asian/Pacific American women served in the 114th Congress.

Rep.-elect Jayapal will become the first South Asian woman elected to the House of Representatives.


Women Newly Elected to the Senate

Sen.-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) defeated incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). A member of the Illinois National Guard, Sen.-elect Duckworth was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. She previously served as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs and has been an advocate for veterans, quality child care, and family leave policies.

Sen.-elect Kamala Harris (D-CA) defeated Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) for the seat vacated by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). The former attorney general of California is the first South Asian and second African American woman to serve in the Senate. She has been an advocate for increased access to health care and closing the gender wage gap.

Sen.-elect Maggie Hassan (D-NH) defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Sen.-elect Hassan currently serves as governor of New Hampshire and previously served in the New Hampshire State Senate. She supports economic opportunities for women and increased access to women’s health care services.

Sen.-elect Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) defeated Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) for the seat vacated by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). She formerly served as attorney general in Nevada, working to prevent sex trafficking and violence against women. Sen.-elect Cortez Masto is the first Latina elected to the Senate and supports equal pay for women.


Women Newly Elected to the House of Representatives

Rep.-elect Nanette Barragán (D-CA) defeated Isadore Hall, III (R) for the seat vacated by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA). A former aide to President Bill Clinton, Rep.-elect Barragán was the first Latina elected to the Hermosa Beach City Council. She is an advocate for increasing the number of women in Congress and closing the gender wage gap.

Rep.-elect Liz Cheney (R-WY) defeated Ryan Greene (D) for the seat vacated by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R- WY). Rep.-elect Cheney is a former State Department attorney responsible for Middle East policy and currently serves on the International Board of Advisors for the University of Wyoming. She supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Del.-elect Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR) defeated several candidates for the seat once held by incumbent Del. Pedro Pierluisi (R). In 2002, Del.-elect González Colón became the youngest woman ever elected to the Puerto Rican Legislative Assembly. She previously was the youngest woman to serve as House Speaker and currently serves as Minority Leader.

Rep.-elect Val Demings (D-FL) defeated Thuy Lowe (R) for the seat once held by Rep. Daniel Webster (R- FL). A former social worker, Rep.-elect Demings joined the Orlando Police Department and rose through the ranks to become the city’s first female chief of police. She supports Social Security and Medicare, increased funding for STEM education, and improving public schools.

Rep.-elect Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) defeated Shirlene Ostrov (R) for the seat once held by the late Rep. Mark Takai (D-HI). Rep.-elect Hanabusa first was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 after serving in the Hawaii State Senate. She is an advocate for equal pay, veterans, and increased funding for health care.

Rep.-elect Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) defeated Brady Walkinshaw (D) for the seat vacated by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA). She is a member of the Washington State Senate, where she has advocated for increased services for victims of domestic violence, eliminating the statute of limitations on reporting sexual assault, and improved tracking and testing of rape kits.

Rep.-elect Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) defeated incumbent Rep. John Mica (R-FL). A professor at Rollins College, Rep.-elect Murphy previously was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served as a national security specialist in the office of the Secretary of Defense. She is an advocate for women- and minority-owned businesses, paid family and medical leave, and affordable child care.

Rep.-elect Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) defeated Hans Reigle (R) for the seat vacated by Rep. John Carney (D-DE). Rep.-elect Blunt Rochester previously served as Delaware State Secretary of Labor and Deputy Secretary of Health and Social Services. She supports improved access to, and quality of, women’s health care, and is the first woman and African American to represent Delaware in Congress.

Rep.-elect Jacky Rosen (D-NV) defeated Danny Tarkanian (R) for the seat vacated by Rep. Joe Heck (R- NV). She previously worked as a software developer and computer programmer for several corporations. Rep.-elect Rosen served as president of Congregation Ner Tamid, and supports equal pay for women and promoting girls’ interest in STEM education.

Rep.-elect Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) defeated incumbent Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH). Before her first election to Congress in 2006, Rep.-elect Shea-Porter worked as a social worker and community college instructor. She also worked for the presidential campaigns for retired General Wesley Clark and then- Sen. John Kerry.  She supports equal pay legislation, veterans, and increasing access to health care.

Rep.-elect Claudia Tenney (R-NY) defeated Kim Myers (D) for the seat vacated by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY). A publisher and businesswoman, Rep.-elect Tenney previously worked for the Consulate General of Yugoslavia. She has served in the New York State Assembly since 2010, and supports repealing the Affordable Care Act and reforms to provide veterans and military families proper and timely care.

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