Forget Binders Full of Women, New Hampshire has a Delegation Full of Them

By Bethany Imondi on
November 14, 2012

Melissa Harris-Perry said it best on Sunday when she told viewers on her MSNBC program: “Forget binders full of women, New Hampshire has a delegation full of them.”

Last Tuesday, the Granite State elected the nation’s first all female Congressional delegation and the country’s only Democratic female governor. Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster each defeated the state’s House incumbents and Maggie Hassan came out victorious in the governor’s race. Along with and fellow Democrat (and EMILY’s List-er), Senator Jeanne Sheehan and Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, these five women make up the first all-female delegation from any state.

Shea-Porter and McLane Kuster will be among the largest class of women to enter the U.S. Congress come January. Speaking to Melissa Harris Perry on Sunday, McLane Kuster credits voters for recognizing women’s abilities to get the job done.

“I think if you`ve ever raised teenagers or toddlers, you know how to find common ground,” said McLane Kuster to Melissa Harris Perry. “The voters sense that. They know that we need common sense solutions in Congress and people that can set aside their differences and come together to solve our challenges.”

Beyond the success of the delegation in New Hampshire, this year’s elections were record-breaking for women. In the 113th Congress, 20 women will serve in Senate, including EMILY’s List women Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Mazie Hirono — each being the first women ever to represent their states in the chamber. Baldwin becomes the first openly gay senator in the nation’s history, and Hirono becomes the first Asian American woman senator and only the second woman of color to serve in the Senate.

This year, a record 78 women will also serve in the House. This number includes Grace Meng, the first Asian-American to represent NYKyrsten Sinema, the Congress’s first bisexual member, and Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu Congresswoman. She and Tammy Duckworth will be the first women with combat experience to serve in Washington.

Working hard to elect these women, EMILY’s List raised $51.2 million dollars during the 2012 cycle. With EL’s backing and the support of voters, the newly-elected women are prepared to get down to business.  

 “We`ll each have our own areas of expertise,” said McLane Kuster, “and we`ll rely on each other to solve these challenges."

Women might still be part of the minority in political representation, but this year’s record-breaking elections have shattered glass ceilings across the country.

 

 

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