19 black women ran for judge positions in a Texas county — they all won
Nineteen black women ran to become judges in Texas’ Harris County.
All of them won — after campaigning together with the slogan, “Harris Black Girl Magic.”
On their website, they campaigned saying: “There are 19 qualified and intelligent African-American women running for judge in the 2018 election. The largest number seen on the ballot in Harris County history.”
Harris County, which has a population of more than 4.5 million people and encompasses Houston, elected the women on the night of the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday.
According to the Guardian, their wins made history in the county, which now has more black female judges than ever before.
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Their victory is also a move toward diversifying the state’s judicial makeup. According to advocacy organization The Gavel Gap, white men account for 52 per cent of Texas judges, but about 21 per cent of the state’s overall population. About 70 per cent of the county’s population is white.
Beyond these 19 women, the country elected 19 other judges, all of whom are Democrats.
An August photo of the candidates, who are being dubbed the Houston 19, has gone viral following their success.
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One of the women said she never imagined this would be the outcome.
LaShawn A. Williams wrote on Facebook: “Never did I imagine that the day I decided to run to be judge, I’d become a part of a club of phenomenal black women, sisters-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong – everything I hope to be!”
Beyond the Texas county, there were several historic firsts in the U.S. midterm election results.
Voters elected a diverse group of people, many of whom made history as the first person of their race, gender or sexual orientation in their respective races.
Texas sent the state’s first Hispanic women, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, to Congress.
Connecticut and Massachusetts sent black women to Congress for the first time.
There were also several other firsts, including two Muslim women — Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Oman — who were sent to Congress.
— With files from Global News reporter Rebecca Joseph
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.