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U.S. Senator-elect Kamala Harris (left). (Twitter)

Silver lining?

The number of women of color in the U.S. Senate quadrupled on election night

By WITW Staff on November 9, 2016

The U.S. may not have voted to elect its first woman president on Tuesday night, but women still managed to make history on Election Day as the number of women of color in the U.S. Senate quadrupled with victories in California, Illinois, and Nevada. 

Although four out of 100 Senate seats seems may appear to be a small win, it is the largest leap in any one election.

Until Tuesday night, Japanese-American Mazie Hirono of Hawaii was the Senate’s only woman of color. But Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, also Asian-American, beat out Senator Mark Kirk.

African- and Indian-American Kamala Harris of California, who was also the state’s first woman of color to serve as attorney general, won over Loretta Sanchez. Harris also appeared onstage at the Women in the World 2015 New York Summit. And in Nevada, Latina Catherine Cortez Masto defeated against Senator John Heck.

Advances by women weren’t only limited to the Senate chamber. Stephanie Murphy became the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to Congress, with a victory over longtime incumbent John Mica in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

Hillary Clinton may not have shattered the glass ceiling to get a woman president to the White House, but women are still shattering the political ceiling on Capitol Hill.

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