To say that women got things done on Tuesday is an understatement. The 2012 election has yielded more women than ever before in the Senate, and all signs point to the momentum continuing.
Most of my pre-election focus was on my home state of Indiana, where Joe Donnelly won over Richard Mourdock by simply not being a jerk (also, I thought he was gracious in his acceptance speech, and I have high hopes that he will grow into Senator Lugar’s shoes). As the night went on, I heard about races in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Hawaii that were going down in the record books as well. With no further ado, I present to you, three of the freshly elected senators of these United States.
Senator Elect Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts
Elizabeth Warren was born in Oklahoma City in 1949. She went to work at an early age to help support her family, and excelled at debate in high school. She attended George Washington University, and graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in speech pathology and audiology. She later enrolled in Rutgers School of Law-Newark, where she graduated with a law degree. She’s taught at various law schools around the country, most recently at Harvard.
Senator Elect Warren is a bankruptcy law expert, and was appointed to chair the Congressional Oversight Panel the implementation of theEmergency Economic Stabilization Act. She was named the 2009 Boston Globe’s Bostonian of the Year. She’s written numerous books, and recieved numerous prestigious teaching awards. She is the first female senator elected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Here’s an excerpt from her remarks on winning the Senate seat after a long, hard campaign against Senator Scott Brown.
This victory belongs to you!
To all the families who’ve been chipped at, squeezed and hammered, we’re going to fight to level the playing field and get people back to work.
To all the small business owners who are tired of a system rigged against them, we’re going to hold the big guys accountable.
To all the seniors who deserve to retire with the security they earned, we’re going to make sure your Medicare and Social Security benefits are protected and that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.
To all the young people who did everything right but are still drowning in debt, we’re going to invest in your future.
To all the servicemembers and their families who fight for us, we’re going to fight for you.
To all the women across Massachusetts who are working their tails off, believe me, we’re going to fight for equal pay for equal work.
To all of you, tonight is YOUR night. This victory is YOUR victory.
Take some time to learn more about her at ElizabethWarren.com.
Senator Elect Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin
Tammy Baldwin is a Wisconsin native. Born in 1962, she was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a law degree from University Wisconsin-Madison. She was first elected to local offices, working her way up to the Wisconsin General Assembly in 1992. After six years in state government, Senator Elect Baldwin became Wisconsin’s first female and openly gay Congresswoman in 1998. In Congress she’s been a vocal opponent of the Iraq war, a proponent of women’s rights, and a proponent of healthcare reform.
She is now Wisconsin’s first female and openly gay Senator. Her remarks on election night were gracious, and she clearly stated who she’s representing in the Senate:
I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference ““ a difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay the bills, a difference in the lives of students worried about debt and seniors worried about their retirement security, a difference in the lives veterans who fought for us and need someone fighting for them and their families when they return home from war, a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs trying to build a business and working people trying to build some economic security.
But in choosing me to tackle those challenges, the people of Wisconsin have made history. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the trust you have placed in me. All I can do is work as hard as I can to keep that trust.
Read more about Senator Elect Tammy Baldwin at TammyBaldwin.com
Senator Elect Mazie Hirono, Hawaii
Mazie Hirono was born in 1947 in Japan. She immigrated to Hawaii with her mother as her mother escaped an abusive marraige. Hirono holds a BA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and earned a law degree from Georgetown University. She returned to Hawaii to practice law, and began her political career on the state level. She served in the Hawaii house of representatives from 1981-1995. She earned the titleLegislator of the Year in 1984.
Hirono was elected Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor in 1994 on an historic ticket with Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano (Cayetano was the first Filipino-American governor, Hirono was the first Japanese immigrant Lieutenant Governor – American dream, anyone?). After two successful terms, she was defeated in her 2002 run for governor. Hirono was elected to Congress in 2006, and has served in the U.S. House of Representatives ever since. One of her main causes has been early childhood education, a cause that resonates with communities across the country. She is the first female senator elected by the State of Hawaii, as well as the first ever elected Asian-American woman elected to the US Senate, as well as the first Japanese immigrant elected senator.
Learn more about Senator Elect Mazie Hirono at MazieforHawaii.com. There’s a cool interactive timeline you should check out.
Did you watch any of these Senate races closely? In the coming weeks, I’ll be featuring more Women of the Senate. Are you represented by a female Senator?