4 Wins for Diversity on Election Night

US has its first Latina senator
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2016 12:25 PM CST
4 Wins for Diversity on Election Night
Ilhan Omar at her victory party in Minneapolis, Minn., on Tuesday. She is now a state lawmaker.   (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

(Newser) – Though Hillary Clinton failed to become the first female US president, diversity prevailed on Election Night in other ways. The history-making results in four states:

  • Nevada: Former Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto, 52, won a competitive race to take retiring Sen. Harry Reid's seat, becoming the first Latina in the US Senate. Cortez Masto kept the seat in Democratic hands with her win over Rep. Joe Heck, reports Politico.
  • California: Kamala Harris became the first black senator from California, as well as the first Indian-American senator, when the Democrat won the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, per the Los Angeles Times. Harris will be only the second black woman to serve in the US Senate. Harris was also the first woman elected as California's attorney general.

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  • Oregon: It became the first US state to elect an openly gay governor, Democrat Kate Brown, reports NPR. Brown, who is bisexual, was actually the incumbent: She stepped in as governor in 2012 when John Kitzhaber resigned. Though the first openly gay governor elected, Brown isn't the first to serve: Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey came out as gay in 2004 while in office.
  • Minnesota: Ilhan Omar, 34, also a Democrat, was elected as a state representative in Minnesota, making her the first Somali-American legislator in the US. Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, moved to the US from a Kenyan refugee camp at age 12. She tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune she's "excited" to be a "champion" for "the diverse people of my district."
(Read more Election 2016 stories.)

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