Susana Martinez was elected Governor of New Mexico in 2010. She is the first Latina woman to serve as governor of an American state (Sila Calerdón had already served as Governor of Puerto Rico from 2001 to 2005).
Nikki Haley was elected as the first woman Governor of South Carolina in 2010. She is the first Asian American and Indian American woman to serve as governor, and is also, at the age of 41, the youngest current governor in the nation. Prior to her governorship, Haley was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2004 after defeating Larry Koon in the Republican primary, who was then the longest-serving member of the South Carolina House.
In 2012, Tammy Baldwin became the first women to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin. She is also the first and only openly gay U.S. Senator. Prior to her election to the Senate, Baldwin had served in the U.S. House since 1999. She has been a staunch advocate for progressive policies during her 14 year tenure in Congress.
In 2012, Mazie Keiko Hirono became the first woman elected U.S. Senator from Hawaii, defeating Republican Linda Lingle. Hirono is the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, the first U.S. Senator born in Japan, and the nation’s first Buddhist Senator. Until 2016, Hirono was the only person of Asian descent in the U.S. Senate. Before becoming Senator, Hirono was a U.S. Congresswoman, Democratic nominee for Governor of Hawaii, Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, and a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives.
In 2012, Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress. A former social worker, grassroots organizer, and state representative, Sinema has represented Arizona's 9th Congressional district in the House since 2012.
In 2014, Mia Love became the first African American Republican woman (and the first Haitian-American) to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives when she defeated Doug Owens by 4,000 votes. Love represents Utah’s 4 congressional district and was elected mayor of Saratoga Springs, UT and served on the city council prior to her election to Congress.
In 2014, Joni Ernst became the first woman from Iowa elected to the U.S. Congress. She is also the first female veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate. This was a title she held alone until the election of Tammy Duckworth in 2016. Prior to becoming a senator, Ernst served as a member of the Iowa Senate for three years and as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard.
In 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman to win the nomination of a major party for President of the United States. Prior to her nomination Clinton served as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, a U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, First Lady of the U.S. from 1993 to 2001, First Lady of Arkansas, and practiced law after her graduation from Yale Law School in 1973.
In 2016, Tammy Duckworth challenged incumbent Mark Kirk for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat. Duckworth was injured by a rocket rocket propelled grenade while fighting in the Iraq War, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm. She is the first paraplegic to serve in the U.S. Senate, and was the first disabled woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Duckworth is also the first Asian-American senator from Illinois and the first Member of Congress born in Thailand.
In 2015, Kate Brown succeeded John Kitzhaber to become Governor of Oregon. Brown is the first openly bisexual governor in US history, and her election win in 2016 made her the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected as a US Governor. Before becoming governor, Brown served as Oregon’s Secretary of State for six years and in the Oregon Legislative Assembly for 18 years.
In 2016, Catherine Cortez Masto won the seat of retiring Harry Reid to become a U.S. Senator for the state of Nevada. Cortez Mastro’s victory over Republican Congressman Joe Heck made her the first female Senator from Nevada and the first ever Latina in the U.S. Senate. Before becoming a Senator, Cortez Masto served as Nevada’s Attorney General for eight years.
In 2017, Danica Roem defeated 26-year incumbent Bob Marshall to represent the 13th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. Roem’s victory made her the first openly transgender person to be elected and serve in a U.S. state legislature. Prior to serving in office, Roem worked as a reporter and news editor.
In 2018, Ilhan Omar defeated Republican Jennifer Zielinski to represent the 5th District of Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives. Omar's victory made her the first Somali-American in Congress and along with Rashida Tlaib she is also one of the first Muslim woman in Congress. Prior to serving in Congress, Omar had served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 2016.
In 2018, Sharice Davids became one of the first Indigenous woman elected to Congress after defeating Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder to represent the 3rd District of Kansas in the United States House of Representatives. Openly gay, Davids is also the first LGBTQ person to represent Kansas in Congress.
In 2018, Deb Haaland became one of the first Indigenous woman elected to Congress after defeating former New Mexico State Representative Janice Arnold-Jones. Haaland, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, became the first Native American woman to preside over the United States House of Representatives on March 7th, 2019 during a debate on voting rights and campaign finance.
In 2018, Janet Mills was elected Governor of Maine, the first woman to hold that position. She previously served as the state's first female Attorney General, having been elected in 2009.
In 2018, Kristi Noem became the first female Governor of South Dakota after defeating Democrat Billie Sutton. Noem previously served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Dakota's at-large district.
In 2018, Ayanna Pressley became the first black Congresswoman to represent Massachusetts after defeating the 10-term Democratic congressman Michael Capuano. Pressley represents Massachusetts 7th District, and previously served as the first black woman on Boston's City Council.
In 2018, Marsha Blackburn became Tennessee's first female Senator after winning retiring Republican Senator Bob Corker's seat. Blackburn previously represented Tennessee's 7th District in the United States House of Representatives since 2003.
In 2018, Veronica Escobar became one of Texas's first Latina Congresswomen after defeating Republican Rick Seeberger. Escobar is the second Hispanic, and first woman ever to represent Texas's 16th District. Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Escobar was elected as County Judge of El Paso County in 2010.
In 2018, Sylvia Garcia became one of Texas's first Latina Congresswomen after defeating Republican Phillip Aronoff. Garcia represents the 29th District of Texas, after winning the primary easily with 63% of the vote. Garcia previously served as a member of the Texas Senate from the 6th District having been elected in 2013.
In 2019, Eileen Filler-Corn beat out three other candidates to become Virginia's first female speaker of the House of Delegates. Filler-Corn is also the first woman to serve as the minority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates.