Hayes Becomes First Black Woman To Represent Conn. In Congress

Nov 7, 2018

Connecticut voters have elected Democrat Jahana Hayes the first African-American woman to represent the state in Congress.

Two years ago, Hayes won the National Teacher of the Year Award for getting her high school students involved in civic life. Now, Hayes tells her supporters that their history teacher is...making history.

“Today, today, today [applause], Connecticut, today we made history,” Hayes told her supporters.

She gained momentum running on a progressive campaign and a message that elected officials should represent all Americans, not just the establishment. She echoed that message in her victory speech.

"When I entered this race, they called me the disruptor. But I can't disrupt alone. I couldn’t disrupt alone. And you guys, we started a movement."

Hayes said she hopes her victory shows people from all backgrounds that they can strive for something more.

"We showed that people matter, words matter, that actions matter, that we get to be here, that you will hear us, and we will hold you accountable."

Hayes drew national attention and endorsements, including from teachers unions.

She declared victory over Republican Manny Santos, the former mayor of Meriden, for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.