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Niki Tsongas Elected to House of Representatives

On October 16, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) won a special election to fill the seat of former Rep. Martin Meehan (D-MA), who resigned July 1. She was sworn in on October 18, becoming the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the House in 25 years.

Her election brings the total number of women serving in the 110th Congress to 74, including 20 Republicans, and 54 Democrats. Three women serve as Delegates; 16 women serve in the Senate.

Rep. Tsongas is the widow of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas, who passed away in 1997. Before her election to Congress, she was a social worker for the New York City Department of Welfare and the dean of External Affairs at Middlesex Community College the largest community college in Massachusetts. She also started the first all-female law practice in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 2001, then-Rep. Meehan appointed her to head a foundation to provide educational funding for the children of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Rep. Tsongas is a graduate of Smith College and received a law degree from Boston University.

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