Meet the history-makers of the 118th Congress
(CNN) — The 118th Congress, being sworn in Tuesday, will eclipse several records set by the outgoing Congress.
It features a record-setting number of women, 149 — expanding female representation by just two members above the record set by the 117th Congress. Overall, women of color will also break a record for their representation this year, with 58 serving, and within the House alone, there will be a record number of both Latinas and Black women.
The new Congress also boasts the House’s first Gen-Z lawmaker and the longest-serving woman in congressional history.
Some newcomers, Republicans and Democrats alike, also achieved historic firsts in their own states, ushering a diverse group into a politically split Washington.
Here’s a look at the lawmakers, some new and some returning, who are making history in each chamber during this session of Congress.
Alabama: Republican Katie Britt is the first woman elected to the Senate from Alabama, winning an open seat vacated by her onetime boss, GOP Sen. Richard Shelby, who held the seat for nearly four decades.
Alabama’s two previous female senators both were appointed to fill vacancies.
California: Democrat Alex Padilla will be the first elected Latino senator from California, winning a special election for the remainder of Vice President Kamala Harris’ term as well as an election for a full six-year term. Padilla, the son of Mexican immigrant parents, was appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to the seat Harris vacated when she became vice president.
Oklahoma: Republican Markwayne Mullin will be the first Native American senator from Oklahoma in almost 100 years, winning the special election to succeed GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is resigning. Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation, represented the state’s 2nd Congressional District in the last Congress. Democrat Robert Owen, also a member of the Cherokee Nation, represented Oklahoma in the Senate from 1907 to 1925.
US House of Representatives
AZ-06: Juan Ciscomani will be the first Latino Republican elected to Congress from Arizona. Ciscomani, who was born in Mexico and immigrated to the US with his family as a child, previously worked at the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and was a senior adviser to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
CA-42: Democrat Robert Garcia will be the first out LGBTQ immigrant elected to Congress. Garcia, who immigrated from Lima, Peru, in the early 1980s at the age of 5, has been the mayor of Long Beach.
CO-08: Democrat Yadira Caraveo will be the first Latina elected to Congress from Colorado. Caraveo, a state representative and the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, defeated Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer to win the seat located north of Denver.
FL-10: Democrat Maxwell Frost will be the first Gen-Z member of Congress after winning the open seat for Florida’s 10th Congressional District.
The 25-year-old representative-elect told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on November 9 that when President Joe Biden called to congratulate him, the president recalled being too young to be sworn in as a senator when he was first elected at age 29.
“He asked me if it was the same situation. I said, ‘No, Mr. President, you had me beat on that. I’m already old enough to be sworn in on January 3.’ So, it was great to talk with him. You know, he was elected at a very young age, too, so he understands that experience,” Frost said on “CNN This Morning.”
IL-03: Democrat Delia Ramirez will be the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois. Ramirez, who served as a Chicago-area state representative and is the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, was also the first Guatemalan American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly.
IL-17: Democrat Eric Sorensen will be the first out gay person elected to Congress from Illinois. Sorensen, a former Rockford and Quad Cities meteorologist, defeated Republican Esther Joy King in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos.
MI-10: Republican John James of Michigan will be the first Black Republican elected to Congress from Michigan, winning the open-seat race for the redrawn 10th Congressional District in the Detroit suburbs.
MI-13: Democrat Shri Thanedar will be the first Indian American elected to Congress from Michigan. Thaneder, who immigrated to the US from India, was elected to the Michigan House in 2020 and unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018.
NY-03: Republican George Santos won the first House election between two out gay candidates — in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. Santos, the son of Brazilian immigrants, defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman for the Long Island-based seat.
Santos is entering the House under intense scrutiny after admitting to lying about key pieces of his background while state and federal prosecutors look into his finances and fellow lawmakers voice their outrage over his resume fabrications.
OH-09: Democrat Marcy Kaptur will become the longest-serving woman in Congress when she’s sworn in to represent the state’s 9th Congressional District for her 21st term. Kaptur, who was first elected in 1982 and is currently the longest-serving woman in House history, will break the record set by Barbara Mikulski, who represented Maryland in the House and Senate for a combined 40 years.
OR-5 and 6: Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer and Democrat Andrea Salinas will be the first two Latinos elected to Congress from Oregon.
Chavez-DeRemer, who is Mexican American, will represent the 5th Congressional District, succeeding Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader.
Salinas, whose father immigrated to the US from Mexico, won the state’s newly created 6th Congressional District.
PA-12: Democrat Summer Lee will be the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania. Lee, who had been a Pittsburgh-area state representative, will succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle.
VT: Democrat Becca Balint will be the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Vermont. She will succeed Rep. Peter Welch, who was elected to represent the state in the Senate.
WA-03: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez will be the first Latino Democrat elected to Congress from Washington state. Gluesenkamp Perez, an auto repair shop owner whose father immigrated to the US from Mexico, defeated Republican Joe Kent to succeed GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who finished third in the August top-two primary. Herrera Beutler was herself the first Hispanic member of Congress from Washington state.