The 2022 midterms have already brought a number of historic firsts, including Congress seeing its youngest lawmaker and states that have only ever been led by men getting their first woman governor.
Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old community organizer, has officially become the first Gen Z member elected to Congress after winning a House seat in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.
Frost’s win notably adds to the body’s generational diversity: The average age of a House member is currently 58, and more than 80 percent of members are Gen X or baby boomers. Frost’s victory — which was driven by his advocacy for stronger gun control laws and support for progressive policies like Medicare-for-all — strengthens the representation a younger set of voices, which tend to lean more liberal, will have in Congress. He will be the first Afro-Cuban person in Congress as well, adding to the diversity of a body that is still more than 75 percent white.
WE WON!!!! History was made tonight. We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to represent my home in the United States Congress. #FL10— Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@MaxwellFrostFL) November 9, 2022
Frost is just one candidate who made history this week along with Massachusetts gubernatorial winner Maura Healey and Arkansas gubernatorial winner Sarah Huckabee Sanders, both of whom were the first women elected to these roles. We’ll have a running list of candidates who are historic firsts as election results come in.
Maura Healey, a Democrat, is the first woman and first openly gay person elected as governor of Massachusetts. Healey, the state’s attorney general, beat former Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl and ran on protecting abortion access and improving child care costs. Healey also touted her record as AG while on the trail, focusing on her confrontations with ExxonMobil over how it deceived investors about its role in climate change and taking on OxyContin and Purdue Pharma over their roles in the opioid crisis. She flips control of the state back to Democrats after Republicans held it for eight years.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a Republican, is the first woman elected as governor of Arkansas. Huckabee Sanders, who was the White House press secretary under then-President Donald Trump, beat Democrat Chris Jones and put forth a platform of tackling crime and implementing tax cuts. Huckabee Sanders takes on the role roughly 15 years after her father Mike Huckabee held the same position.
Katie Britt, the former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and a Republican, is the first woman elected to the US Senate from Alabama. Previously, two women represented the state in the Senate as appointees. Britt served as chief of staff to sitting Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and will take over his seat. Britt has said she’ll prioritize policy aimed at reducing the national debt, back abortion restrictions, and embody a new generation of leadership while in the role.
Wes Moore, a former nonprofit executive, author, and Democrat, is the first Black person elected governor of Maryland. Moore beat Trump-backed nominee and election denier Dan Cox by focusing on protecting abortion access and addressing childhood poverty. He will flip gubernatorial control of Maryland, generally considered a blue state, back to Democrats. Moore becomes just the third Black governor elected in the country.
Aruna Miller, a Democrat and former member of the state legislature, is the first Asian American person to be elected lieutenant governor of Maryland. Miller, who is Indian American and a civil engineer, has extensive experience working in transportation access and made infrastructure equity a key proposal that she and Gov.-elect Moore would work on.
Becca Balint, a former teacher, state senator, and Democrat, is the first woman and openly gay person elected to Congress from Vermont. Balint’s election to Vermont’s at-large House seat makes history in the state, which is the last in the US to elect a woman as a member of Congress. She has championed progressive policies including Medicare-for-all and lists paid family leave among her priorities.
Leslie Rutledge, a Republican and Arkansas’s current attorney general, is the first woman elected lieutenant governor of the state. Rutledge, who said she would focus on job creation, school choice, and rolling back the income tax as part of this role, has faced scrutiny for supporting the state’s law to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Delia Ramirez, a progressive Democrat and state representative, is the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois. Ramirez has pushed the state to codify abortion rights into law, while championing Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal.
Summer Lee, a progressive Democrat and state representative, is the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania. Lee has emphasized the need for policies that prioritize environmental justice and backed progressive proposals like Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal. Her win could be a model for progressives who hope to win in districts that are slightly less blue than the ones where they typically compete.
Austin Davis, a Democrat and state representative, is the first Black person elected as lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. Davis has said he intends to center job creation and bringing more businesses back to the state while in this position. He’s also emphasized how he’ll defend abortion rights alongside Gov. Josh Shapiro.
Shri Thanedar, a Democrat and entrepreneur, is the first Indian American elected to Congress from Michigan. Thanedar has said he’s interested in more expansive gun control and defending abortion rights. His win makes him the fifth Indian American lawmaker to be elected to the House this cycle.
Update, November 9, 2:45 pm: This story was originally published on November 8 and has been updated to include more historic firsts of the 2022 midterm elections.