She shocked many, including herself, last spring when she came out of nowhere to defeat 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's Democratic congressional primary.
Tennessee gained the state's first woman in the Senate as Marsha Blackburn defeated former Gov. Phil Bredesen.
All three women say they have a lot to do once they get into office, or are back in office, and that they can't wait to get to work.
Republican Marsha Blackburn won a gruelling, expensive contest to become the first female U.S. senator from Tennessee.
"This is the year of the woman, and the fact that women were willing to put themselves on the line is important, whether they've been Republicans or Democrats", said former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, a first-time candidate who defeated Republican Maria Elvira Salazar in south Florida.
In victory speeches across the country, women acknowledged the groundbreaking year.
Half a century ago this week, New York's Shirley Chisholm was elected the first black woman in Congress, and several of the black women elected Tuesday have said their campaigns were inspired by her example.
Women also contested governor's races across the country.
Candidates like Sherrill, McGrath and Katie Hill, who was running for a House seat in California, raised staggering amounts of money, though women still raised less, on average, than men.
Driver likely intoxicated in crash that killed 4
In Wisconsin, the school, the community of Scouts and most of Chippewa were preparing to attend a memorial at 6 p.m. Woldhuis said the mother and daughter who died attended Chippewa Valley Bible Church, where he presides.
The lopsided victory for Ocasio-Cortez is hardly a surprise, given the deep blue nature of her Brooklyn district.
The House candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley of NY, who is expected to lose her race, made history as the first woman to spend federal campaign funds on childcare. Twenty-two states have never elected a woman as governor, and six states have female governors today. "What's different this year is the whole pipeline's getting filled with women", Lake said.
"Ayanna Pressley was also fed up".
The inclusive midterm victories bode well for future election cycles, said Kimberly Peeler-Allen, co-founder of Higher Heights for America, a national organisation focused on galvanising black women voters and electing black women as candidates.
Democrat Ilhan Omar will serve as the nation's first Somali-American Congresswoman.
Twenty-nine-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made history in the United States midterm elections, becoming the youngest woman elected to Congress. Iowa elected its first female governor, Kim Reynolds (who was the incumbent but she had been appointed to the position), along with its first-ever female state representatives, 29-year-old Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne, both of whom beat out their male Republican incumbent opponents.
When Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia take their seats in January with the 2018 class, they will be the first Latinas ever to represent Texas in the U.S. House.