A lot has changed since 1922 when the first woman became one of 100 U.S. Senators.
Thirty-nine women have served in the U.S. Senate over the years and Tuesday’s election will introduce five more to the exclusive club.
It was a night of many firsts for women in the 2012 election – Elizabeth Warren became the first female senator from Massachusetts, Mazie Hirono became the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, and Tammy Baldwin became the U.S.’s first openly gay senator.
In addition, Republican Deb Fischer beat former two-term Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey to take over the seat from retiring Senator Ben Nelson, D-Neb. NBC News is now calling Democrat Heidi Heitkamp the apparent winner in her race against Rep. Rick Berg in North Dakota for that state’s open senate seat.
That means 20 women will become part of the exclusive Senate club in the new session of Congress.
It wasn’t just the Senate where women made gains, one of the more significant: New Hampshire. For the first time in U.S. history, a state will be represented by an all-woman delegation on Capitol Hill. Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and new-comer Ann McLane Kuster will join Senators Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, and Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, in representing the state.
The Granite State’s top job will be filled by a woman too. Democrat Maggie Hassan beat Tea Party favorite Ovide Lamontagne for the governor’s office. Hassan appeared on The Daily Rundown today.