Elise Stefanik Becomes the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

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Correction appended: 5:49 a.m. EST on Nov. 5

Amid all the monumental victories for the Republicans in the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday, which saw the GOP regain control of the Senate, one newcomer made a little bit of history.

By defeating Democrat candidate Aaron Woolf in New York’s 21st Congressional District, Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress. The 30-year-old is also the first Republican to win the district for 21 years; the seat was held by Democrat Bill Owens since 2009.

“I am honored and humbled to be the youngest woman ever elected to the United States Congress, and to add an additional crack to the glass ceiling for future generations of women here tonight,” said a beaming Stefanik in her acceptance speech at 10.40 p.m.

Stefanik won by a considerable margin, with the Albany Times-Union reporting that she had 63% of the vote with 21% of votes counted and led Woolf by a 2-1 margin for most of the evening.

“We are here tonight because you believed that Washington is ready for fresh ideas and a new generation of leadership,” she told her delighted supporters.

The record for youngest woman to be elected to U.S. Congress was previously held by 31-year-old Elizabeth Holtzman, a New York Democrat who was elected in 1973.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated that Stefanik was the first ever Republican to win New York’s 21st Congressional District; she is the first for 21 years. It also misstated that Bill Owens held the seat for 21 years; it was in fact since 2009.

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