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Blogs / People

5 Milestones In Congressional Demographics

Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. hugs retiring Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl before President Barack Obama's campaign stop in Green Bay, Wis., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold applauds behind Baldwin.(AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

November 9, 2012

This may have been largely a status quo election that hasn't changed many of the political dynamics on the Hill, but the 113th Congress is different than any other before it.

Here are five demographic facts that make this class stand out:

Record Number Of Female Senators
The Senate has become a little less of a man's world this time around -- 20 women have been elected to serve in the upper chamber, a record high. The 112th Congress had 17 female senators, which is the previous record. Republican Rep. Rick Berg conceded to Heidi Heitkamp in the North Dakota's Senate race on Thursday, bringing the number to 20.

First Hindu in the House, First Asian-American Female Senator
Tulsi Gabbard  was elected to serve Hawaii's 2nd district, with the Democrat replacing Rep. Mazie Hirono, who ran for Senate. Gabbard will be the first Hindu to serve in the House. Hirono will be the first Asian-American woman to serve in the upper chamber, and only the second non-white woman.

House Dems No Longer Mostly White Guys
The House Democratic caucus is the most diverse its ever been, with the majority of members for the first time being either non-white or women. At least 57 House Democrats will be women, while House Republicans will have at least 20 female members.

Record Number of Hispanic Members
Tuesday's election means a record 28 Latinos serving in the House. In the Senate, the election of Republican Ted Cruz from Texas means three Latinos will be serving in the Senate, just as in 2008.

First Openly Gay Senator
Rep. Tammy Baldwin bested Republican Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin's Senate race, meaning she will be the first openly-gay Senator. Four openly-gay members served in the 112th, and that number will increase to at least six in the 113th.

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