Minority candidates rode the Republican wave to some historic victories last night. Republicans, who haven’t had a black lawmaker in Congress since 2003, fielded 14 black House candidates this year, the AP notes. Two of those candidates—Tim Scott in South Carolina and Allen West in Florida—will be the first black Republicans from their state since Reconstruction. Several Latino Republicans also defeated incumbent Democrats. New Mexico, meanwhile, elected the nation’s first female Hispanic governor in Susana Martinez.
Three states elected women governors for the first time, CBS adds, including Martinez and Indian American Nikki Haley. And Brian Sandoval became Nevada’s first Hispanic governor. “Color is becoming less of an issue,” said one black Republican consultant. “There was a time when the white electorate saw race first and made judgments based on this alone.” On the other hand, CNN points out that there won’t be a single black senator in the incoming class. (Read more Election 2010 stories.)