Hillary Clinton may not have been named the first female president this election but history was still made. A record-breaking number of women of color were elected for the senate.
This election quadrupled the amount of women of color in the senate. Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris and Catherine Cortez Mateo will be a part of the senate beginning in January.
Duckworth is an Asian-American veteran who lost both of her legs during the Iraq War, now she is is the Democratic senator for Illinois after beating incumbent Senator Mark Kirk, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In 2010, Harris became the first African-American and the first Indian-American to serve as California’s Attorney General and is now the Democratic senator for California.
She became the first Indian-American and the second African-American to be elected to the senate.
According to Huffington Post, Harris’s career was could even become the first woman president. The article titled “Meet Kamala Harris, Who Could Become The First Woman President”, cites her experience with criminal justice, her role in the fight for marriage equality and the history she has made in California and now the Senate.
Catherine Cortez Mateo won the Nevada senate seat, becoming the first Latina in the Senate. She is Nevada’s former Attorney General and she is the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant.
Her campaign focused on immigration overhaul and the senate approval for Supreme Court nominees, according to New York Times.
Many people believe that the government should be representative of all the country’s population.
“I am proud that there is diversity in the U.S government,” Mercer sophomore Bansari Patel said.
Patel is Indian-American and is happy to see two Indian-American women in the senate.
“To know that to Indian-Americans are in the senate makes me feel represented. We need different perspectives in our fast paced world to understand intricate situations,” she said.
Prior to this election Hawaii’s senator Mazie Hirono, who is Japanese American, was the only woman of color in the senate.
She is also the first first female senator from Hawaii and the first Asian-American woman to be elected to the senate.
During an interview with Adrienne LeFrance on Medium, Hirono emphasized the importance of having diversity in the senate.
“When I go home, I talk with the kids in Hawaii and I say, ‘Do you know there’s only one person in the Senate who looks like us?…And they invariably look at each other. And I say, ‘That’s why we need to do a lot more,” she said.