#Election2020: GOP Women and Candidates of Color Have Big Night

Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), a Cuban-American broadcast journalist, declares victory for Florida's 27th congressional district.

By Al Perrotta Published on November 4, 2020

Although the Presidential race is the big kahuna, with more drama than a century of Lifetime movies, it wasn’t the only election that took place yesterday.

Amid the craziness of three Democratic-run swing states that were going Trump’s way suddenly stopping the vote count, some good news kind of slipped on by.

The Senate

It looks like Democratic dreams of taking over the Senate have been dashed. Although it appears astronaut Mark Kelly has knocked off Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), the GOP has flipped Jeff Sessions’ old seat back Red.

And in huge news, John James appears to have won in Michigan over incumbent Gary Peters, becoming the second black Republican in the Senate.

Also, Susan Collins, Thom Tillis and Lindsay Graham are on paths to re-election, despite very challenging races. Democrats spent over $100 million trying to oust Graham. And Collins has been on Democrats’ target list for years, especially after she cast a crucial vote for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

This interactive map from the NY Times gives the details.

The House of Representatives

A final count is far from over, but Nancy Pelosi won’t be getting an expanded majority she was expecting. The GOP actually flipped a number of interesting seats in the House, including Michelle Fischbach ousting 15-term Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

The GOP also picked up two seats in Miami-Dade County. Former Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala got beaten by broadcast journalist Maria Elvira Salazar. Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell was bumped off by Carlos Gimenez. Both Salazar and Gimenez are Cuban America.

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Said Gimenez: “Today was a rejection of extremism. Today was a rejection of partisanship. Today was a rejection of socialism and the evils of socialism and communism,” Gimenez said at a victory party Tuesday night. “This country needs to start to work together because we have threats from outside and inside and for us to keep fighting, it makes no sense whatsoever.”

Those two wins help highlight one of the big stories of the night: Latinos and Blacks getting elected as — and helping elect — Republicans.

Meanwhile, move over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. You are no longer the youngest person in Congress. Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old who blew away the GOP convention when he rose out of his wheelchair in support of President Trump, defeated Democratic incumbent Moe Davis.

“The days of AOC and the far left misleading the next generation of Americans are numbered,” Cawthorn said in a prepared victory statement. “Tonight, the voters of Western North Carolina chose to stand for freedom and a new generation of leadership in Washington.”

Also winning, and guaranteed to draw fire in Washington, was Marjorie Taylor Green in Georgia. Because she’s a follower of QAnon, she will be derided and attacked the minute she sets foot inside the Beltway. But Marjorie Taylor Green is now a Representative-elect of the United States Congress.

Democrats entered the day holding a 232-to-197 majority over Republicans (with five vacancies). Since many races are left to be decided, and projections have been pretty worthless, we’ll have to see how that final split shakes out.

But no doubt tonight was a banner night for Republican women and candidates of color.

As rightfully frustrated as President Trump is this morning at the presidential election tallies, and regardless of what happens, Donald Trump can be very proud he has ushered in a new, younger, stronger, more ethnically diverse … and frankly, more fun … Republican Party.


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream and co-author, with @JZmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl. And if you aren’t already, please follow The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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