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Year of the Woman: Record number of women elected to Congress

It has been the year of the woman, and it showed last night during the midterm election.

Multiple celebrations of victorious women here held last night for the midterm election.

With two races still counting there will be at least 100 women headed to Congress, breaking the previous record of 84.

Catherine Swysen is the president of Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee. She said her organization worked hard to support female candidates, hard work that is paying off.

“It was wonderful to see that not only were a lot of women were elected, but more importantly it’s the diversity of the candidates that were elected,” said Swysen.

There were a record-breaking number of women on ballots across the country, and among the historic victories includes the first two Muslims women elected to Congress, as well as the first Somali-American.

“We have young women, the youngest one is 29 years old,” said Swysen. “We have the first Native American women to be elected and the first Latina, and so it will bring much-needed diversity and different points of view to Congress. I think that it sends a very positive message. Studies have shown that women in Congress work very hard, actually harder than their male counterparts, and they are focusing on issues that are important to women and families that that will benefit society at large.”

While Swysen is excited about the results, she said she hopes the number of women running for office continues to grow.

“It’s a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go,” said Swysen. “Twenty percent is not enough.”

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