Sioux Falls, S.D. - The midterm election was a history maker for female candidates nationwide. 118 women will now serve in Congress and South Dakota is set to put its first female governor in office.
It was a politically fueled year as women across the country fought to have their voices heard and now, as hundreds of women are set to take office, a major political chapter has been turned.
“People decided they could vote for that person, for that woman. So that’s a really exciting thing and I think it’s a step in the right direction for South Dakota,” LEAD South Dakota co-founder Susan Kroger said.
2018 is a time many are calling "the year of women".
“We're starting to recognize in this country that a women's perspective on every issue is important,” Governor-elect Kristi Noem said.
“2018 is going to be the most significant election year for female candidates in my lifetime I think. This was just a huge moment for women across the ideological spectrum,” South Dakota State University assistant Political Science professor David Wiltse said.
Republican or Democrat, women across the country and in South Dakota claimed victory after victory on election night.
“The fact that women are stepping up and running and then they're being recognized as their perspective being valuable, boy I think we're going to have a real opportunity here to have better polices that work for families and business,” Noem said.
The political organization ‘LEAD South Dakota’ helped recruit 13 women locally who ran for office for the first time.
“The big piece of why I’m hearing women want to run, is they want change. They are unhappy with the status quo and a lot of times it’s not just about the things we're seeing on the national scene, it’s about things that impact them and their families on a daily basis,” Kroger said.
“We look at it as a wife, as a mom. We’re dealing with a lot of the healthcare issues. We're paying household bills. We’re also running businesses,” Noem said.
While Kristi Noem recognizes the significance of her victory. She also tells KSFY we are rapidly developing into a society where a woman holding a high political office is to be expected and not historic.
“But, I recognize that a lot of people see this as a huge opportunity for a lot of younger people. A lot of young women and women to see someone in leadership and change their perspective of what they can accomplish with their lives. So I do think it’s really special,” Noem said.
Many people KSFY spoke with Wednesday said they are excited to continue to see the number of women in political offices grow over the years and hope those women can make some important change.
Noem’s inauguration for South Dakota Governor will be on Saturday, January 5th.