AUSTIN, Texas — A so-called "pink wave" passed through the country on Election Day.

  • More women have been elected to political office
  • Unprecedented voter turnout, contributed to those victories

There will be more than 100 women serving the in the U.S. House, with six of those coming from Texas. That's up from the previous record of 84. In the Senate, at least 13 women won their races. In the Texas House, the number of women serving jumps from 29 to at least 34.

So what could a bigger female presence at the Texas Capitol mean for the next legislative session?

According to newly-elected Democratic State House Representative Erin Zwiener, their focuses will be education finance reform, healthcare, and engaging other women in politics.

Zwiener was elected to represent the people of Hays and parts of Blanco County, which is a district that's long been represented by a man.

She says running for office and winning is all the more significant since becoming a mother.

"When I was a little girl, I grew up seeing Kay Bailey Hutchinson as our Senator, and Ann Richards as our governor, and what I didn't realize at the time, is that I was the first generation of girls to grow up seeing more than one woman in a position of power," Zwiener said.  

Joyce LeBombard with the League of Women Voters says the unprecedented voter turn-out, specifically among younger voters, contributed to women victories.

She believes a more diverse State House will lend itself to collaboration, and movement on issues like school finance reform.

"I think we do bring some different perspective, and we do need that difference in perspective in order for all of us to be represented," LeBombard said.

LeBombard predicts women running for office and winning will continue. Zwiener agrees, but says she knows there's still barriers to women seeking power.

"I'm grateful that the barriers I faced were significantly more surmountable than those of the women who came before me," Zwiener said.  

In 1971, the Texas Women's Political Caucus was formed to promote women in politics. It's still active today, and endorsed Zwiener as she ran for District 45.