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Democrats projected to keep House, but at a loss

Newly elected House representatives will include the first two openly gay Black men and more Native American women.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters about Election Day results in races for the House of Representatives, at Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Democrats will maintain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but are projected to lose a few seats, as well.

After taking back the House in 2018, Democrats commanded a majority of 232 out of the chamber’s 435 seats going into the 2020 election.

As votes were still being tallied on Thursday, Republicans had flipped five seats — a pair in South Carolina and one each in New Mexico, Iowa and Minnesota — while Democrats have turned two districts blue — both in North Carolina — for a GOP gain so far of three representatives, The Washington Post reported.

Of 52 House races that were still not called Thursday, Republican candidates were ahead in 11 Democratically held districts in California, New York, Florida, Iowa, Illinois and Pennsylvania, while Democrats were on track to flip two GOP districts in Georgia and California, according to the Post.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., won her reelection by a landslide and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was projected to maintain his seat by about 15 percentage points, according to The Associated Press.

In Utah, Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams was still fighting for a second term Thursday against Republican challenger Burgess Owens, the Deseret News reported. The incumbent held about a 1% lead Wednesday evening.

The newly elected House members of the 117th Congress will set some firsts next year when they are sworn into office on Jan. 3.

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Ritchie Torres, the Democratic nominee for New York’s 15th Congressional District, speaks to the media on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in the Bronx borough of New York. Torres, a member of the New York City Council, won in the Bronx to make history as the first gay Black man elected to the U.S. House.

Adam Hunger, Associated Press

  • First openly gay Black men join the House

New York Democrats Richie Torres and Mondaire Jones are the first gay Black men to be elected to Congress, The New York Times reported. Jones will represent New Yorkers in the state’s 17th Congressional District and Torres will represent the 15th District.

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Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan. talks to supporters before depositing her advance ballot in a drop box Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Mission, Kan.

Charlie Riedel, Associated Press

  • Three Native American women will head to Capital Hill

For the first time in American history, three Native American women have been elected to the House, reported The Cherokee One Feather — a weekly newspaper in North Carolina.

Newly elected New Mexico Republican Yvette Herrell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, will join incumbent Democratic Congresswomen Kansas’ Sharice Davids — a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin — and New Mexico’s Deb Haaland — a member of Laguna Pueblo — in Washington when the women are sworn in to the 117th U.S. Congress on Jan. 3.

  • North Carolinians elect youngest member of Congress

Republican Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina — who aligned himself with President Donald Trump — won election and will become the youngest member of 117th Congress at 25 years old, the Charlotte Observer reported.

  • Possible record of Republican women voted to Congress

Republican were on track Wednesday night to elect more women to the House and Senate than they ever have, according to The New York Times, with 22 women already elected as other congressional races were still be counted. In 2004, the Republican voters elected 25 women to Congress.

In the 116th Congress, women accounted for 116 Democrats and 24 Republicans, according to a Rutgers University tally.