In 1916, four years before the 19th Amendment was even passed, Jeanette Rankin (R-MT)…
5 Trailblazing Women in Congress You Should Know About
In addition to the barriers women broke at gubernatorial and statewide levels, the 2022 midterm election results proved that this was a trailblazing year for women in Congress.
A record number of women ran in this year’s elections and secured two more seats than the previous election cycle. Of the 149 women serving in Congress next year, there will be increased representation for Black, Latina, and Republican women serving in the nation’s legislative body. And for the first time, women will hold four key congressional jobs. Representatives Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) will be chair and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, along with Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Collins (R.-Maine) as chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. While there is increased representation of women in Congress, it’s important to note that there are currently no Black women in the U.S. Senate.
Below are a few of the trailblazing Congresswomen who are contributing to this historic moment:
Becca Balint (D),Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives from Vermont
First woman and openly gay person elected to Congress representing Vermont
Becca Balint is an American politician, currently serving as President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate.
Congresswoman-elect Balint graduated magna cum laude from Smith College, received her Masters in Education from Harvard University, and lastly her Masters in Arts degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior to her career in politics, Senator Balint served as town meeting representative and on the Development Review Board in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Congresswoman-elect Balint was first elected to Vermont State Senate in 2014, and was subsequently reelected in 2016, 2018, and 2020 against Independent, Liberty Union, Republican candidates. During her tenure in the state senate, Senator Balint served on the Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, Finance, and Rules Committees. She was unanimously voted majority leader in 2017 by the Democratic caucus, and she became President pro tempore of the Vermont state senate in 2020, becoming the first woman and LGBTQ person to serve in the role.
In 2022, Balint was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Vermont’s at-large district. She is the first woman and out gay person to represent Vermont in Congress.
Katie Britt (R), United States Senator-elect from Alabama.
First woman elected to the Senate representing Alabama
United States Senator-elect Katie Britt is a politician, attorney, and businesswoman.
Britt received her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in 2004, and her law degree from University of Alabama Law School in 2013. Prior to running for the U.S. Senate, Britt was a member of U.S. Senator Richard Shelby’s staff, at the University of Alabama, and later as the President and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.
Britt was elected to the U.S. Senate to represent Alabama during the 2022 midterm elections, defeating Democratic candidate Will Boyd. Britt is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama and the youngest Republican woman elected U.S. Senator.
Marcy Kaptur (D), Incumbent Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 9th District
The longest-serving woman in Congressional history
Marcy Kaptur is a politician currently serving as a U.S. representative for Ohio’s 9th congressional district.
Representative Kaptur began volunteering with the Ohio Democratic Party when she was 13 years old. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her Master’s in Urban Planning from University of Michigan, and did doctoral studies in urban planning and development finance at MIT in the early 1980s. Representative Kaptur first ran for Congress in 1982, defeating Republican Ed Weber 58-39%. Representative Kaptur has won every election since, and from 1986 to 2022 she won her reelections with at least 72% of the vote.
Representative Kaptur defeated Republican nominee J.R. Majewski 56%-43% in the 2022 midterms despite being in a vulnerable position due to redistricting in Ohio. Representative Kaptur became the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House when she began her 18th term in 2018. Upon her swearing in to the 118th United States Congress in January 2023, Representative Kaptur will become the longest-serving woman in congressional history.
Anna Paulina Luna (R), Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s 13th district
First Mexican American woman elected to Congress representing Florida
Anna Paulina Luna is an American politician and U.S. Air Force veteran.
At 19, Member-elect Luna enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving as an airfield manager at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and then in Florida. During her time in the Air Force, Luna received the Air Force Achievement Medal. After being honorably discharged, Luna received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of West Florida.
Member-elect Luna first ran for Florida’s 13th congressional district in 2020, but lost to Democrat incumbent Charlie Crist. Luna ran again this year and won her race against Democrat Eric Lynn and Independent Frank Craft. Luna is the first Mexican American woman elected to Congress representing Florida and she will assume office on January 3rd, 2023.
Summer Lee (D), Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 12th district
First Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania
Summer Lee is a community organizer and politician currently serving as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Congresswoman-elect Lee received herundergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University in 2009, and earned her law degree from Howard University School of Law in 2015. After graduating from law school, Lee campaigned for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries. After being approached by a community organizer urging Lee to run for office, Lee challenged incumbent Pennsylvania House Representative Paul Costa in the Democratic primary in 2018. She won the primary and was unopposed in the general election.
Congresswoman-elect announced she was running for Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district (now Pennsylvania’s 12th district) in October 2021. Representative Lee won the Democratic primary on May 17th of this year, and then defeated Republican opponent Mike Doyle in the general election on November 8th, becoming the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania. Lee will assume office on January 3rd, 2023.