Summer Lee Makes History as First Black Woman Elected To Congress From Pennsylvania

Progressive Democrat Summer Lee is the first Black woman elected to Congress in Pennsylvania after defeating Republican Mike Doyle in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

The Hill reported that in 2019 Lee became the first Black woman elected to the state house in Harrisburg.

“This was a movement that was about what it looks like when we prioritize the most marginalized and really fight for what a real working-class movement can look like in this country,” Lee said at her election night party in downtown Pittsburgh, according to The Hill.

Lee ran on a campaign of protecting democracy and voting rights, disability justice, education, and environmental justice.

According to the New York Times, Lee received 55.7% of the vote, collecting 178,799 votes, to Doyle’s 44.3%. The Harvard School of Law and Pennsylvania State University alumna’s win is a major boost for progressive Democrats and a huge loss for Republicans who spent six figures on the race. Also, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spent more than $1 million trying to defeat Lee.

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MI) both accused the AIPAC of working to ensure Republican control of Congress. In her victory speech,  Lee said her win shows Pennsylvania residents aren’t fooled by big-money donors.

“We are not going to let dark money and outside folks come into western Pennsylvania and tell us what type of representation that we deserve, because our community has been waiting far, far too long for this.”

Pennsylvania also elected a Democratic senator (John Fetterman) and governor (Josh Shaprio) this week.

Lee is expected to be the newest member of The Squad, which features Cortez, Omar, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D) and Michigan Rep. Rashida Talib. Newer members of The Squad include New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, who was reelected Tuesday receiving 72% of the vote in her race against Republican Andrew Jones.