Nevada is set to make history, with the first legislature in U.S. history to have a majority of female lawmakers.
The Clark County Board of Commissioners made two appointments on Tuesday that will put the legislature in the history books. Commissioners chose Culinary Union grievance specialist Beatrice Angela Duran to take over for Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz, who resigned this month to run for a seat on the Las Vegas City Council. And they selected Las Vegas attorney Rochelle Nguyen to replace outgoing Assemblyman Chris Brooks, who was appointed to the state Senate last month. Duran and Nguyen are Democrats and were appointed with unanimous votes.
When the 80th session of Nevada’s legislature begins on Feb. 4, women will hold 23 out of 42 seats in the state Assembly and nine of 21 seats in the state Senate, according to The Nevada Independent. In total, women will hold 32 of 63 seats in the state’s legislature.
State Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D) celebrated the news on Twitter.
2018 was a big year for women in politics, with a record number of women elected to the U.S. House in the midterms and many other historic and record-breaking achievements.
Nevada has been on the forefront of women’s representation; after November’s elections, its state Supreme Court will have a female majority, as will its six-member congressional delegation. Jacky Rosen will join Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the U.S. Senate, and Susie Lee will meet Rep. Dina Titus in the House; all are Democrats.
Women make up about 25 percent of state legislators nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of June this year, there were roughly 1,875 women serving in the 50 state legislatures.
New Hampshire was the first state to have a legislative chamber with a female majority; in the state House’s 2009-10 session, 13 of 24 members were women. But Nevada will be the first to have women make up the majority of all its state legislators, according to the NCSL.
Other states with a high percentage of female legislators include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
In October, HuffPost partnered with the Reno Gazette-Journal as part of our Listen to America tour for a panel featuring female political leaders. The panelists discussed the prospect of having the country’s first majority-female legislature and why Nevada has been leading the way. Watch the video above.
This story has been updated with additional information.