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Changes in gender, racial diversity between the 115th and 116th House.

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Insider

The 116th Congress will be sworn into office on Jan. 3rd — and
the incoming House of Representatives is shaping up to be the
most diverse House in history. 

The 2018 midterms saw historic gains in Congressional
representation for women, people of color, LGBTQ+, and younger
candidates — with the vast majority of those gains coming from
Democratic candidates. 

A record 103 women were elected to serve in the 116th House, an
increase of 22% over the 84 women who served in the 115th House.
Combined with five new female Senators and ten female Senators
not up for re-election, a total of 131 women will serve in
the 116th Congress. 


Read more:

12 records the 2018 midterm
elections smashed

While 52% of the 67 incoming House
Democratic freshmen are female
, only two, or 4.5% of the 44
incoming Republican freshmen are women — West Virginia’s Carol
Miller and Arizona’s Debbie Lesko. Lesko won a special election
earlier this year to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in
the wake of a sexual misconduct scandal. 

Republicans saw their roster of female House representatives
gutted 43% from 23 members to
13
, as many Republican women either stepped down to run for
higher office — like Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee and Kristi
Noem in South Dakota — or were unseated by Democratic
challengers. 

As the blue wave swept through suburban America, it unseated many
Republican women in its wake, including Karen Handel in the
Atlanta suburbs, Barbara Comstock in the DC suburbs of Northern
Virginia, and Mimi Walters in Orange County, California —
formerly reliable Republican areas. 

The 116th House will also boast more women of color than ever
before, including the first Native American women to serve in
Congress and the first African-American women to represent
Illinois and Massachusetts in the House, respectively.

As with gender, the gains in representation for people of color
are heavily concentrated in the
Democratic Party
. A full 34% of the incoming House Democrats
but 2% of their Republican colleagues identify as people of
color. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio will be the only incoming
non-white freshman Republican. 

Read more:  2 photos show the stark difference
in the new representatives Democrats and Republicans are sending
to Congress

Furthermore, four of the 15 Republican representatives who were
identified as Hispanic or African-American in the 115th House
either retired or lost-re-election to Democratic challengers,
including Florida’s Carlos Curbelo and Utah’s Mia Love. Among the
200 Republicans in the 116th House, 90% will be white men. 

While two of the 115th House’s LGBT members, Krysten Sinema of
Arizona and Jared Polis of Colorado, resigned to pursue higher
office, four new Democratic LGBT candidates were elected: Chris
Pappas of New Hampshire, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Angie Craig of
Minnesota, and Katie Hill of California. There have been no
openly LGBT Republicans in the House or Senate since 2006. 

The 115th House was one of the oldest in
history,
but 2018 midterms also ushered in a wave of younger
Gen X’ers and Millennials elected to Congress. Come January, the
average age of a member of the House will decrease a full decade
from 57 to 47. 

 

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