U.S. midterm elections: Barrier-busting winners set to shake up Congress

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Liberal groups heralded the positive impact women had on the election and said it will be felt on the legislation front as well after the new U.S. Congress convenes next year.

- Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer: Iowa's first women in the U.S. House. Davids identifies as a lesbian, making her the first openly LGBT member of Congress from Kansas as well.

"We've had years of the woman before".

When she won the primary, she denounced President Donald Trump as "a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man".

"Powered by a massive turnout of women and fuelled by our incredible candidates, House Democrats gained several seats in the heartland", Democratic representative Cheri Bustos of IL said in a statement Tuesday night after House control was called for Democrats.

"I am so honored to share both the ballot and the stage with the many visionary, bold women who have raised their hand to run for public office", said Ayanna Pressley, who became the first black woman elected to Congress from MA. "And that's exactly what this is, not a campaign or an Election Day but a movement... for social, economic and racial justice".

In the first major race called Tuesday night, Lou Leon Guerrero was elected as Guam's governor, becoming the first woman to do so.

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The Republican incumbent lost her bid for a second term, going down to Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. for clerk of Rowan County in north-eastern Kentucky. "We see problems as opportunities in our state of Colorado".

Though prominent figures like Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, failed to win their potentially historic elections, many candidates around the country became the first person of their gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation to be elected to their positions in their states, or in some cases, in the country. Davids' win in Kansas against GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder was a pickup for Democrats, which projects to gain control of the House. Others included Rep. Marsha Blackburn, running for Senate in Tennessee, and Rep. Martha McSally, who sought to replace retiring Sen.

Davids is from the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin and has focused her career on the advancement of Native Americans.

At 29, staunch left-winger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and one of the youngest members ever.

Pressley, a Democrat and Boston city councilwoman, will represent Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District in the next Congress. Pressley stunned the political establishment in September, defeating a 10-term incumbent in the Democratic primary, and ran unopposed in the general.

The campaigning from both sides of politics was polarising, with the Republicans maintaining an anti-immigration and America-first message, while the Democrats pledged to put an end to divisionary politics.

This year's election is drawing comparisons to the 1992 elections dubbed the "Year of the Woman", when a record number of women won seats in Congress, bringing total representation to around 10 percent.

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