When the next Congress convenes on Jan. 3, there will be 124 women in the House and 25 in the Senate for a record-breaking total of 149. That is 28% of the entire Congress. There are also records in various subcategories as well.
In the House, more than half the class of 22 new women will be women of color. There will be record numbers of Black women (27) and Latinas (18) in the new House. Clearly, women of color are moving up. The situation in the Senate is different, though. Minority women didn't make a breakthrough there. In fact, the only new senators, John Fetterman (D-PA), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), and Eric Schmitt (R-MO) are all white men. That will change, by one, if Herschel Walker is elected. But replacing one Black man by a different Black man won't change the racial balance, of course.
As we get down into the weeds, a number of women are firsts for their state. Yadira Caraveo (D) will be the first Latina from Colorado and only the second female doctor in Congress. Mary Peltola (D) will be the first Native Alaskan to win a full term in the House. Becca Balint (D) will be the first woman and first openly gay person to represent Vermont in the House. Oregon has never had a Latina represent it in the House, but now it has two, Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R) and Andrea Salinas (D). Pennsylvania has its first Black congresswoman, Summer Lee (D-PA). Illinois will get its first Latina, Delia Ramirez (D). Michigan will get an Indian-American woman, Shri Thanedar (D), for the first time. As you can see, most of these are Democrats. Probably just chance, right?
Ethnic diversity isn't the only area where records are being broken. The new House freshman class is the youngest in history with an average age of 46. Seventeen members aren't even 40 yet. (V)