Weekly Wonder: Women in Congress

By Haley Paraday
BU News Service

Results from most races in the 2020 elections have been announced except for a few uncalled races delayed by the pandemic and counting of mail-in ballots. This election, however, has broken voter turnout records and ushered in firsts for several positions, including the first woman of color to become vice president.

A record-breaking number of women were elected to the seats in the 117th Congress. By next year, at least 12 additional women will join the ranks of the 127 women currently in the 116th Congress.  

The number of women in Congress could expand even more considering the one uncalled House races in California where a woman is leading. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris, D-California, is the only Black woman in the current Senate and the state is yet to decide who will replace her.

There will also be 10 members of the LGBTQ+ community in the next Congress. There have been open LGBTQ+ members in Congress since 1973, when Robert Bauman, R-Maryland, was outed by a scandal that ended up destroying his political career in 1980. But LGBTQ+ candidates achieved milestone victories this year. The 117th Congress will have in it its first openly gay Afro-Latinx representative, Ritchie Torres, a Democrat from New York.

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