Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Wes Moore and other 2022 midterm election history-makers8 min read
While the overall midterm election results may not be known for hours or even days in some spots, candidates from both parties are already celebrating historic victories.
Heading into Election Day, both parties were looking to diversify their ranks of elected officials, both in Congress and beyond, and they appear on track to do so.
Republicans are excited about growing their roster of female governors and electing more Latino members to the US House. Democrats are on track to make a breakthrough for LGBTQ representation in governor’s offices.
In Massachusetts and Oregon, Democrats Maura Healey and Tina Kotek will become the nation’s first out lesbian governors. Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former Trump White House press secretary, will be elected the first female governor of Arkansas. And Maryland Democrat Wes Moore will be the state’s first Black governor.
Election results are still coming in, and many races have not yet been called. But for now, here’s a look at the candidates who NEWS projects will make history in the 2022 midterms.
This list will be updated as more winners are projected.
AL-SEN: Republican Katie Britt will be the first elected female senator from Alabama, NEWS projects, winning an open-seat race to succeed her onetime boss, retiring GOP Sen. Richard Shelby. Britt is a former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and was the heavy favorite in the general election in the deep-red state. Two women have previously represented Alabama in the Senate, but both were appointed to fill vacancies.
AR-GOV: Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the first woman elected governor of Arkansas, NEWS projects, winning the office her father previously held for over a decade. Sanders, who earned a national profile in her role as press secretary in the Trump White House, is also the first daughter in US history to serve as governor of the same state her father once led.
AR-LG: Republican Leslie Rutledge will be the first woman elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas, NEWS projects. Rutledge, the state attorney general, originally sought the open governor’s seat but switched to the lieutenant governor’s race after Sanders entered the GOP gubernatorial primary. Lieutenant governors are elected on separate tickets in Arkansas.
With the election of Sanders and Rutledge, Arkansas will join Massachusetts as the first states to have women serving concurrently as governor and lieutenant governor.
CA-SEN: Democrat Alex Padilla will be the first elected Latino senator from California, NEWS projects, winning a special election for the remainder of 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.
CA-SOS: Democrat Shirley Weber will be California’s first elected Black secretary of state of state, NEWS projects. Weber, a former state assemblywoman, has been serving in the position since last year after Newsom picked her to succeed Padilla, who was appointed to the US Senate.
CA-AG: Democrat Rob Bonta will be California’s first elected Filipino American attorney general, NEWS projects. Bonta, who was born in the Philippines and immigrated with his family to the US as an infant, has been serving in the position since last year after Newsom appointed him to succeed Xavier Becerra, who left to become President Joe Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary.
CA-42: Democrat Robert Garcia will be the first out LGBTQ immigrant elected to Congress, NEWS projects, winning election to California’s 42nd Congressional District. Garcia, who immigrated from Lima, Peru, in the early 1980s at the age of 5, is the current mayor of Long Beach.
CO-08: Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo is likely to be the first Latina elected to Congress from Colorado, after her opponent, Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, conceded the race for the state’s new 8th Congressional District, located north of Denver. Caraveo is the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents. NEWS has not yet made a projection in this race.
CT-SOS: Democrat Stephanie Thomas will be the first Black woman elected secretary of state of Connecticut, NEWS projects. Thomas, a member of the Connecticut House, will succeed appointed Democratic incumbent Mark Kohler.
FL-10: Democrat Maxwell Frost will be the first member of Generation Z elected to Congress, NEWS projects, winning the open seat for Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Generation Z refers to those born after 1996. Frost will succeed Democrat Val Demings, who vacated the seat to run for Senate.
The 25-year-old representative-elect told NEWS’s Poppy Harlow on Wednesday 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 “NEWS This Morning.”
Frost, who made reducing gun violence a central part of his campaign, also told NEWS that he will work to pass universal background checks in Washington.
IL-03: Democrat Delia Ramirez will be the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois, NEWS projects, winning election to the state’s redrawn 3rd Congressional District. Ramirez, a Chicago-area state representative and 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, NEWS projects, winning election to the state’s 17th Congressional District. Sorensen, a former Rockford and Quad Cities meteorologist, will defeat Republican Esther Joy King in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos.
MD-GOV: Democrat Wes Moore will be the first Black governor of Maryland, NEWS projects, becoming only the third Black person elected governor in US history. Moore, an Army veteran and former nonprofit executive, will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
MD-LG: Democrat Aruna Miller will be the first Asian American lieutenant governor of Maryland, NEWS projects. Miller, who immigrated to the US with her family from India as a child, is a former member of the state House of Delegates. She was elected on the same ticket as Moore.
MD-AG: Anthony Brown will be the first Black person elected attorney general of Maryland, NEWS projects. Brown, who currently represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, has a been a longtime fixture in state politics, having also served as state lieutenant governor and in the state House and run for governor in 2014.
MA-GOV: Democrat Maura Healey will be one of the first out lesbian governors in US history, NEWS projects, winning an open-seat race for the governorship of Massachusetts. Healey, the current attorney general of Massachusetts, will also be the commonwealth’s first elected female governor. Also making history with Healey as one of the nation’s first out lesbian governors is Oregon Democrat Tina Kotek.
With the election of Healey and her running mate, Kim Driscoll, Massachusetts will join Arkansas as the first states to have women serving concurrently as governor and lieutenant governor.
MA-AG: Democrat Andrea Campbell will be the first Black woman elected attorney general of Massachusetts, NEWS projects. Campbell, who ran for Boston mayor last year, was previously the first Black female president of the Boston City Council.
MI-10: John James will be the first Black Republican elected to Congress from Michigan, NEWS projects, winning election to the state’s 10th Congressional District. James, who lost bids for US Senate in 2018 and 2020, will defeat Democrat Carl Marlinga in the open-seat race for the redrawn suburban Detroit district.
MI-13: Democrat Shri Thanedar will be the first Indian American elected to Congress from Michigan, NEWS projects, winning election to the state’s 13th Congressional District. 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.
NV-SOS: Democrat Cisco Aguilar will be the first Latino elected secretary of state of Nevada, NEWS projects. Aguilar, who is Mexican American, will defeat Republican nominee Jim Marchant, a former state assemblyman who has repeatedly promoted false conspiracy theories about elections in Nevada.
NY-GOV: Democrat Kathy Hochul will be the first elected female governor of New York, NEWS projects, winning a full four-year term to the office she assumed last year after Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned. Hochul, who previously served as the state’s lieutenant governor and a Buffalo-area congresswoman, will defeat Republican Lee Zeldin.
NY-03: Republican George Santos will be the next congressman from New York’s 3rd Congressional District, NEWS projects, winning the first House election between two out gay candidates. Santos, an investor and the son of Brazilian immigrants, will defeat Democrat Robert Zimmerman for the Long Island-based seat.
OH-09: Democrat Marcy Kaptur will win a 21st term to the House from Ohio, NEWS projects, and will become the longest-serving woman in Congress when she’s sworn in next year to represent the state’s 9th Congressional District. 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.
OK-SEN: Republican Markwayne Mullin will be the first Native American senator from Oklahoma in almost 100 years, NEWS projects, winning the special election to succeed GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is resigning in January. Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation, currently represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District. Democrat Robert Owen, also a member of the Cherokee Nation, represented Oklahoma in the Senate from 1907 to 1925.
OR-GOV: Democrat Tina Kotek will be one of the first out lesbian governors in US history, NEWS projects, after winning an open three-way race for the governorship of Oregon. Kotek, a former speaker of the state House, will succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. She will share the distinction as the nation’s first out lesbian governor with Massachusetts Gov.-elect Maura Healey.
PA-LG: Democrat Austin Davis will be the first Black lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, NEWS projects, winning election on a ticket with gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro. Davis is currently a member of the Pennsylvania House representing a Pittsburgh-area seat. He will be elected on a ticket with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro.
PA-12: Democrat Summer Lee will be the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania, NEWS projects, winning election to the state’s 12th Congressional District. Lee, a Pittsburgh-area state representative, will succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle.
VT-AL: Democrat Becca Balint will be the first woman elected to Congress from Vermont, NEWS projects, winning election to the state’s at-large district. With Balint’s win, Vermont will lose its distinction as the only US state never to have sent a woman to Congress. Balint, the president pro tempore of the state Senate, will also be the first out LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Vermont.
VT-AG: Charity Clark will be the first woman elected attorney general of Vermont, NEWS projects. Clark previously served as chief of staff to Democratic Attorney General T.J. Donovan, who stepped down in June for a private sector job.
WA-03: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez will be the first Latino Democrat elected to Congress from Washington state, NEWS projects, winning election to the state’s 3rd Congressional District. Gluesenkamp Perez, an auto repair shop owner whose father immigrated to the US from Mexico, will defeat 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.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that NEWS has not yet projected a result in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District.