Women break glass ceilings in Congress, but lose some traction in California

Many were expecting voters in the United States to elect their first female president in the country's history on Tuesday -- that didn't happen. But that doesn't mean women didn't break some glass ceilings in governance this election year. 

For Congress, women made historic gains. Though in California, where ballots are still being processed and the final vote count has not been tallied in some races, it's looking like women have lost seats. 

According to an analysis by California Women Lead, a nonpartisan group working to get women elected into political office, four seats in the Legislature (two in the Senate and two in the Assembly) will be turned over to men. The group attributes the decline to term limits. 

California's congressional delegation lost two women -- Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who vacated her seat for a failed Senate bid, and retiring San Luis Obispo Rep. Lois Capps. Two men competed in a costly campaign to replace Capps in the House.

So, six legislative seats in California are no longer held by women. But the Golden State also made history for women in politics on Election Day. 

Californians elected the first Indian-American and second black woman ever to the Senate. With 65 percent of the vote, Attorney General Kamala Harris sailed through to the seat that was formerly held by Barbara Boxer. Her competitor in the race was Sanchez. 

Over in Nevada, the state's former attorney general became the country's first Latina elected to the Senate. Democrat Catherine Cortex Masto narrowly beat Republican Rep. Joe Heck for the seat, and she vowed to fight for progressive values while serving in the office. 

Illinois elected Tammy Duckworth into President Obama's former Senate seat. According to ThinkProgress, Duckworth -- currently a House representative for the state  -- is the first woman senator to have been in combat and second Asian American woman elected to the Senate. She clinched 64.4 percent of the vote. 

ThinkProgress also reports the first Indian-American woman was elected to the House by voters in Washington's 7th District, Pramila Jayapal. Florida voters elected Stephanie Murphy as the first Vietnamese-American woman in Congress. And the first Somali-American Muslim woman elected to Congress, Ilhan Omar, won the seat in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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