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Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams smiles before speaking to supporters during an election-night watch party, May 22, 2018, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore/AP
Girls & Women

Women Across the US Made History in Tuesday Night's Primary Elections

Stacey Abrams made history Tuesday night as the first black woman in the country to win a major party’s nomination for governor, beating her opponent, Stacey Evans, by more than 50% in the Georgia Democratic primary race. 

This fall, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives could become the first female black governor in US history, but she doesn’t intend to be the last.

Take Action: Sign this petition to #LeveltheLaw and empower girls and women around the world!

“The problem is that the best achievers in our community are seen as exceptions and never rules,” Abrams told Marie Claire in a recent interview. “My mission is to become the rule — to say, look, this is what we can do, and there is nothing about my race, my gender, or my economic background that should disqualify me or anyone else.”

Abrams is just one of several women pushing boundaries this election season.

Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County Sheriff, won the Democratic party nomination for governor of Texas on Tuesday, making her both the first Latina and the first openly gay candidate to win a major party’s nomination in the “Lone Star” state. At least seven other Texan women won their primaries races last night as well.

In Kentucky, whose congressional members are currently all men, veteran Amy McGrath won the Democratic House primary race. 

“While it was my name on the ballot, it’s really not about me,” McGrath said during her victory speech in Madison County last night.

Read more: Costa Rica Just Elected Latin America’s First Black Female Vice President

And in Pennsylvania, currently represented in congress by 20 men, at least seven women won their primary races on May 15 and will be on the ballots this fall, the New York Times reported.

Currently, women hold just 20% of the seats in Congress, but that could soon change. This year has seen an unprecedented wave of women running for political office across the country.

Read more: The US & Saudi Arabia Met — And Not a Woman Was In Sight

Nearly 400 women have filed candidacy papers for races in the House, breaking the previous record of 298 female candidates for representative seats in 2012, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. And 36 women have filed for Senate races, just eking by the past high of 34 in 1994.

However, the filing period in several states is not over yet, and it is predicted that dozens more women will file for congressional races. With so many women already in the running — and potentially more joining races — Congress could be poised to make history this fall.

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