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Catherine Cortez Masto makes history as country’s first Latina senator

‘I will use my seat at the table to fight for diversity’

As the results of the 2016 presidential election triggered a wide range of emotions around the United States, Nevada celebrated a historical moment as the state’s former attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto was elected as the country’s first Latina senator.

Cortez Masto, 52, will fill the seat of former Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader who is retiring after holding the position for 30 years. Cortez Masto, also a Democrat, spent her whole career holding various positions in Nevada to help better the communities in her area.

Cortez Masto spent two terms as Nevada’s attorney general, the state’s chief law enforcement officer, working closely with law enforcement to pass laws that would help end the use and distribution of methamphetamine. Cortez Masto also worked to amend laws to protect women from sex trafficking and violence.

During her campaign, Cortez Masto prioritized job creation, protection of senior citizens, housing and immigration. After winning the election over Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, Cortez Masto took to Facebook to thank all of those who supported her during her campaign.

“Thank you to Nevada for electing me to represent you,” Cortez Masto wrote in a Facebook post. “I promise you I will not stop fighting for what I think is right for this state and country … I believe our diversity is our strength. As the first Latina senator I will use my seat at the table to fight for diversity. I believe we are union strong. Working men and women built this county. I believe women should earn the same as men do for the same job. This fight continues.”

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.