History in the making

Catherine Cortez Masto becomes first Latina elected to U.S. Senate

CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Nevada Democrats have made history by electing the first Latina to the U.S. Senate.

With about half of the ballots counted Tuesday night, Catherine Cortez Masto, 52, won 48% of the vote making her the first Latina to join the U.S. Senate—227 years after the legislative chamber first convened.

“It should have happened a long time ago,” Cortez Masto told Fusion in an extensive interview last September.

Cortez Masto, the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, ran her campaign on issues related to immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, Medicare, Social Security and overturning Citizens United. The former attorney general of Nevada announced her bid for Congress shortly after Senator Harry Reid announced his retirement last year.

The Senate race in Nevada became one the most expensive races in the country, with outside groups chipping in $110 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Yet the race was tightly run until the very end.

Cortez Masto told Fusion she plans to be a leader who fights to make sure more women are elected to Senate.

“We need more women who are mentoring other women, particularly women of color, to say here’s how it can be done,” said Cortez Masto.

Read Fusion’s full interview with Catherine Cortez Masto here.