New Mexico Makes History by Becoming First State to Elect All Women of Color to the House

Deb Haaland
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

And in New York, Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres became the first two openly gay Black men elected to Congress.

New Mexico just became the first state to elect all women of color to its House delegation. Three women announced they had won their districts early Wednesday morning, which were confirmed by the state.

Democratic incumbent Representative Deb Haaland, a member of the Pueblo Tribe, won reelection to her House seat against challenger Garcia Holmes. Haaland also made history in 2018 as one of the first Native American women elected to Congress. 

"Tonight the people of New Mexico have chosen hope over fear, love over hate, community over division, and I am so honored that New Mexicans have chosen me to serve in our nation's 117th Congress," Haaland tweeted Tuesday night. 

Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez beat out Republican Alexis Johnson for the state's 3rd Congressional District. Fernandez will replace Democratic Representative Ben Ray Luján, who won the state's open Senate seat. 

"The people of New Mexico have chosen to protect what we love — our democracy, our planet, our families and communities, our health care and our future," Leger Fernandez tweeted following the win. "With this victory, I promise you I will take the courageous action that this historic moment demands. Muchísimas gracias!"


Republican Yvette Herrell, a member of the Cherokee nation, won her challenge against incumbent Democratic Representative Xochitl Torres Small in the state's 2nd Congressional District. Herrell had the support of several big-name Republicans, including President Donald Trump. 

"It's the honor of my life to be elected to serve #NM02," Herrell tweeted. "My commitment to each citizen of our district is that I will serve each of them with integrity as we work together to rebuild our economy and protect the values that make America great!"

"We knew that that was going to be an all-female delegation because there were six major party candidates who were all women running, so no matter how the race came out, you were going to have an all-female delegation," CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes said Wednesday morning. 

New Mexico was just one of a number of states with historic firsts in Tuesday's election. 

In New York, Democrats Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres became the first two openly gay Black men elected to Congress. In Missouri, Black Lives Matter activist and nurse Cori Bush became the first Black woman elected to Congress in the state. 

In North Carolina, Madison Cawthorn will soon be the youngest member of Congress at just 25 years old. He'll take the record from Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who was 29 when she was first elected in 2018.

And in Delaware, Sarah McBride will be the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history — also making her the country's highest-ranking openly transgender official. 

This story was originally published by CBS News on Nov. 4, 2020 at 11:34 a.m. ET.