More Women Than Ever Elected To Senate

Twenty senators are female, for the first time ever. Plus, Senate’s first openly gay woman.

1. In the 2012 election, 20 women were elected to Senate.

Will Kincaid / AP

On Wednesday afternoon, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp finally won the extremely tight North Dakota race against Republican Rick Berg. There are now 20 women in Senate — one in five.

2. Before the 2012 election, there were 17 women in Senate, the most there had ever been previously.

3. There are now only four Republican female Senators.

Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

Two Republican female Senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Olympia Snowe (pictured) of Maine, are retiring.

4. All six female Democratic Senators who were up for reelection won their races.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (pictured), Maria Cantwell of Washington, Dianne Feinstein of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

5. Many of them were close allies.

Jeff Roberson / AP

New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, who held on to a strong lead in the polls for the duration of her campaign, led an effort to fundraise for fellow Democratic women running for Senate seats. Some of that money went to Claire McCaskill’s (pictured) successful Missouri campaign against Todd Akin, who became famous for his comments about pregnancy and “legitimate rape.”

6. Tammy Baldwin also became the first out LGBT Senator — man or woman.

Andy Manis / AP

She defeated former Governor Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin.

7. New Hampshire also has the first all-female delegation.

Jim Cole / AP

Maggie Hassan won the state’s race for governor, and the two new representatives are also women. They join New Hampshire’s two incumbent female senators, Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, to form the first all-female state delegation.

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