Voters enthusiastically reelected Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington, Kristen Gillibrand of New York, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Dianne Feinstein of California.
Joining them in 2013 will be a new group of Democratic women: Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Hirono is the first Asian American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Republicans partially offset the retirements of Olympia Snowe in Maine and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas with Deb Fischer’s victory in Nebraska. She will join three returning Republican senators: Susan Collins of Maine (who was not up for election this year), Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska (who is technically an independent; she won reelection as a write-in candidate, but caucuses with Republicans).
There were six Democratic women serving in the U.S. Senate who were not up for reelection this year: Patty Murray of Washington state, Barbara Boxer of California, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Combined with the ten Democratic women elected or reelected on November 6, they will make a group of sixteen.
The 20 women senators will represent the highest number of Senate seats held by women in the history of the United States.