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Six Women Made History During This Year's Election

Meet the women who made history last night.

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1. Nevada elected the first Latina senator in US history.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Republican Joe Heck in the race for the Nevada Senate seat. She's the first Latina senator in US history. She's a former Nevada attorney general and granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant. Her campaign was focused on an immigration overhaul and future Supreme Court picks.

2. California elected the first Indian-American to serve in the US Senate.

Chris Carlson / AP

California's Attorney General Kamala Harris defeated a fellow Democrat by a little more than a third the vote and was backed by both President Obama and Vice President Biden. She's mixed race, born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican-American father. She's now the first black US senator from California, second black woman to serve as senator, and first Indian-American senator.

3. Florida elected the first Vietnamese-American woman to Congress.

John Raoux / AP

Stephanie Murphy was also endorsed by both Obama and Biden, along with the Human Rights Campaign. She's the daughter of Vietnamese refugees and immigrated to the US when she was 1 year old. She defeated a 23-year Republican incumbent and is now the first Vietnamese-American woman to grab a spot in Congress.

4. Oregon elected the US's first LGBT governor.

Steve Dykes / AP

Oregon is the first state to elect an openly LGBT governor. Kate Brown stepped in as governor of Oregon back in 2015, after the previous governor stepped down. But Brown properly ran this year, and won, becoming the first openly LGBT person to win a gubernatorial election. Brown was outed by The Oregonian for being bisexual in mid-90s. She's currently married with two stepchildren.

5. A former refugee was elected the US's first Somali-American Muslim female legislator.

Stephen Maturen / AFP / Getty Images

Ilhan Omar came to the US as a preteen. Her family escaped the Somali civil war and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp. Omar is the director of policy at Women Organizing Women Network, which works to push East African women into civic leadership positions. She won with little opposition for Minneapolis’ District 60B.

6. Washington elected the first Indian-American woman to hold a seat in the US House of Representatives.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Washington's Pramila Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman to hold a seat in the House of Representatives. Jayapal defeated a fellow Democratic opponent with more than half of the vote. She was born in India and immigrated to the US when she was a teenager. After 9/11, she founded an advocacy group for immigrants and refugees who live in the US.

CORRECTIONS

Kamala Harris is the second black woman to be elected to the US Senate. A previous version indicated that she was the second black senator to ever serve in Congress.

Stephanie Murphy defeated a 23-year Republican incumbent. A previous version incorrectly indicated her opponent was 23-years-old.

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

Contact EmilieSvensson at Emilie.Svensson@buzzfeed.com.

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