Indian Country Today
There have been 12,244 men (and a few women) elected to the U.S. House, the Senate, or both since March 4, 1789. None of those representatives have been Native American women. As Debra Haaland put it during her campaign: “Congress has never heard a voice like mine.”
Get the microphones ready. Halaand won the Democratic primary for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. She still faces a Republican challenger in November, but there are two factors to consider here. First, it’s a district that mostly favors Democrats. Hillary Clinton won the district handily. And, beyond that, this is not a cycle that is working for Republicans anyway. Haaland is now the favorite.
“No candidate ever wins anything on their own,” Haaland told her supporters, thanking the many volunteers and campaign staff that worked so hard to make this happen. “Ours is a victory for working people. A victory for women. And a victory for Indian Country.”
The race was expected to be close, but Haaland won by more than 10 points with 55 percent of the vote counted.
There is so much about Haaland’s win that is worth pointing out. She has worked to build a voter network for a couple of decades, running campaigns for other candidates, or the party itself. She did everything right -- including pointing out that this country has never in its history elected a Native woman. I talked to a Latina who told me that she was voting for Haaland for that reason alone. Justice.
Of course the score remains uneven. But more women than ever are running for office and more Native American women than ever are running for office.
Imagine what Haaland will have to say when she finally gets the microphone on the floor of the House of Representatives.