In more good election news, Hawaii is sending the first Asian-American woman to the Senate, Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. The US has a dismal record of sending women to Congress, though this year was a positive, record change in that direction.
This is welcome news. From the San Jose Mercury News:
Hirono is also an immigrant. She was 8 years old when her mother – fleeing Hirono’s alcoholic father – moved them to Hawaii. Hirono says she cried for two days on the crossing from Yokohama Harbor. Another first: Hirono is a Buddhist, too.
“I bring quadruple diversity to the Senate,” Hirono said at a rally earlier in the campaign. “I’m a woman. I’ll be the first Asian woman ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate. I am an immigrant. I am a Buddhist. When I said this at one of my gatherings, they said, ‘Yes, but are you gay?’ and I said, ‘Nobody’s perfect.'”
Hirono says her mother and Mink are the two women who have inspired her most in her political career. But getting to this point has not just been about doggedness. A refusal to give up is not enough, she said.
“Women are not given very much credit for our ability to make strategic political decisions,” Hirono said. “That’s one of the things I do. I don’t just think, ‘I’m going to do it because I’m not going to give up.’ It’s hard. It’s always hard.
Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post has more about the historic number of women going to the Senate next year.
The 113th Congress will have 20 female senators, the most ever in U.S. history.
Joining the Senate will be Republican Deb Fischer (Neb.) and Democrats Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).
All six Democratic women up for reelection — Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) — won their races.