By Frederick H. Lowe
Democrats took over the U.S. House of Representatives in Tuesday’s midterm elections, which will boost the power and influence of representatives Maxine Waters, John Lewis, and Elijah Cummings.
Waters, a California Democrat, will become chair of the Financial Services Committee, and Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, is expected to become chair of the House Oversight Committee.
John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and he is the ranking House member on the Subcommittee on Oversight.
At least six African Americans were elected to Congress for the first time, including Colin Allred, who defeated an incumbent Republican in Texas’s 32nd District in Dallas. Allred once played for the Tennessee Titans in the National Football League.
Ayanna Pressley was the first black women elected to Congress from Massachusetts. Pressley, a Chicago native, will represent Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Boston. She ran unopposed. All of newly elected member of Congress are Democrats.
In Illinois, Lauren Underwood, a nurse, defeated Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren in the state’s 14th Congressional District in the Chicago suburb of Naperville.
In New York, Antonio Delgado, a Rhodes Scholar and a Harvard-educated lawyer, defeated Republican incumbent John Faso in the state’s 19th Congressional District which includes the Hudson Valley.
And in Connecticut, voters sent Jahanna Hayes to Congress from the state’s Fifth Congressional District, which stretches from New Britain to Meriden. Lucia “Lucy” McBath won Georgia’s Sixth Congressional district, defeating Karen Handel, the Republican incumbent.
The Party controls at least 230 seats to Republican Party’s 205. A political party needs to 218 votes to control the House of Representatives.
In Mississippi, Democrat Mike Espy will compete in a runoff election against Republican Cindy Hyde for Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seat.
Democrats winning the House smoothed over some big disappointments in state governors’ races. Stacey Abrams lost her contest to become Georgia’s first black woman governor and Andrew Gillum lost his race to become Florida’s first black governor. But Abrams called for a recount because large numbers of absentee ballots have not yet been counted.
In Maryland, incumbent Republican governor Larry Hogan defeated Democrat Ben Jealous, the former head of the NAACP.