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The US has elected its first Latina senator

Senate 2016 Nevada
AP Photo/John Locher
Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina senator in the US.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

With a looming Trump presidency inciting fears of racism and sexism, minorities scored a small win during the 2016 elections.

Catherine Cortez Masto was elected to the US Senate in Nevada, making her the first Latina to hold the post in the history of America. Masto, who served as the attorney general of Nevada from 2007 to 2015, won the seat of her predecessor Harry Reid despite the Koch brothers spending more than $1.2 million to defeat her.

Nevada’s Democratic candidate, the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, built her campaign around her eight-year record as attorney general and work furthering anti-sex trafficking legislation.

The number of minority women in the US senate will increase from one to four in the coming term. Ahead of election night, Mazie Hirono, a Japanese American from Hawaii, was the only woman of color in the senate. Along with Masto, Tammy Duckworth, who has Thai and Vietnamese lineage from her mother’s side, and Kamala Harris, who will be the US’s first-ever Indian-American senator and second black senator, were elected in Illinois and California, respectively.

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