A look at history-making firsts in the 2022 midterm elections


The Meaning of Equal
The Rainbow Flag, an international symbol of LGBT liberation and pride, flies beneath the American flag at the Stonewall National Monument on Oct. 11, 2017, in New York. “All men are created equal.” Few words in American history are invoked as often as the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, published nearly 250 years ago, and few more difficult to define. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) Mark Lennihan/AP

A look at history-making firsts in the 2022 midterm elections

Video Embed

The 2022 midterm elections saw a flood of historic firsts, including winners who will become the first openly lesbian governor in the United States, the first black governor of Maryland, and the first Gen Zer to make it to Congress.

Here is a look at “firsts” from this historic election:



Katie Britt (R) is expected to become Alabama’s first female U.S. senator, securing the office that was held by her former boss Sen. Richard Shelby (R), who is retiring at the end of the term. Alabama has had two other female senators, but both were appointed to serve the remainder of a term.

Britt, 40, defeated Democrat Will Boyd and Libertarian John Sophocleus with 67% of the vote.

“I don’t take any of these things for granted, and the gravity of all of it is not lost on me,” Britt said in her victory speech. “I am humbled. I am honored and grateful. I want you to know I understand what a tremendous responsibility these milestones carry. And I do not take that lightly.”


Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), the daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), will become the first female governor of Arkansas on Tuesday after defeating Chris Jones (D), who would have been the state’s first black governor.

Republican Leslie Rutledge was also elected as the first female lieutenant governor of Arkansas, making Arkansas and Massachusetts the first states to have women serving concurrently as governor and lieutenant governor.


Alex Padilla (D) won his election for the Senate, becoming California’s first elected Latino senator. Padilla was previously appointed to serve the rest of now-Vice President Kamala Harris’s term.

Shirley Weber (D) will be California’s first elected black secretary of state. She became the first female black secretary of state last year after replacing Padilla when he was appointed senator.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (D) won his election to Congress to represent California’s 42nd District and is the first out LGBT immigrant elected to Congress.


Maxwell Frost (D) of Florida became the first person from Generation Z to be elected to Congress, doing so at the age of 25, the youngest someone can be elected. Frost will represent the 10th District, succeeding Val Demings, who ran for Senate. He will be the youngest member of Congress once sworn in.


Delia Ramirez (D) is the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois and will represent the state’s redrawn 3rd District. She defeated opponent Justin Burau (R) with 66% of the vote.

“We just made history tonight,” Ramirez said Tuesday. “We broke a glass ceiling. I am proud to be serving as your next congresswoman.”


Wes Moore (D) became the first black governor of Maryland, succeeding Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Moore also joined a small group of black governors, becoming only the country’s third-ever elected black governor. The first was Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder (D), who was elected the state governor in 1989, taking office in 1990.

Anthony Brown was elected as the state’s first black attorney general Tuesday, defeating Republican Michael Peroutka.


Maura Healy (D) will become the first lesbian governor in United States history and is also the state’s first elected female governor. Massachusetts joins Arkansas as the first states to have women serving concurrently as governor and lieutenant governor with the election of Kim Driscoll as the state’s lieutenant governor.

“Tonight, I want to say something to every little girl and every LGBTQ person out there,” Healey said. “I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever, you want to be.”


Shri Thanedar (D) will be the first Indian American elected to Congress from Michigan, defeating Martell Bivings (R) with 71%, according to the Associated Press.

Although the number of Asian Americans elected to Congress has been increasing, they only make up less than 1% of elected leaders in the country, according to a 2021 report.

New York:

Kathy Hochul (D) became the first woman elected governor of New York on Tuesday night, fending off a competitive challenge from Lee Zeldin (R). Hochul became the state’s first female governor last year after taking over for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.


Marcy Kaptur (D) of Ohio won her 21st term for the House of Representatives, making her the longest-serving woman in Congress ever. The record before Kaptur was held by Barbara Mikulski, who represented Maryland in both chambers of Congress for 40 years total.


Summer Lee (D) became the first black woman in her state elected to Congress. Lee will represent the Pennsylvania’s 12th District and succeed retiring Rep. Mike Doyle (D).


Becca Balint (D) became the first woman and openly gay person in Vermont to be elected to Congress, set to represent the state’s sole House district.


The House is expected to be younger and more diverse than ever in the next Congress, regardless of which party holds the majority, the Washington Examiner reported.

In the current Congress, 23% of voting members are racial or ethnic minorities, according to Pew Research. Of those members, 83% are Democrats, and 17% are Republicans.

This list will be updated if more races are called.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Related Content