A historic election day for Republicans also marked a groundbreaking moment for minority GOP candidates.
On a day that conservatives gained control of the House of Representatives and captured the majority of governorships in the United States, several Republican candidates bucked long-standing trends in their home states. Two years after the nation elected its first African-American president, voters continued to make historic decisions at the polls.
Susana Martinez (R-N.M.) became the first Hispanic woman to be elected governor in U.S. history, while Nikki Haley (R-N.C.) and Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) will soon be the first female governors of their respective states.
Brian Sandoval will become Nevada's first Hispanic governor, while Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Allen West (R-Fla.) are the first black Republicans elected in their respective states since the late 19th century. The last black Republican in Congress was J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), who left office in 2003.
"Color is becoming less of an issue," Richard Ivory, a black Republican political consultant, told Fox News. "There was a time when the white electorate saw race first and made judgments based on this alone. While black Republicans and Obama disagree ideologically, both are candidates whose message surpassed pigment."
Despite the surge of minority candidates for governorships and the House of Representatives, there will be no African-American in the Senate come January. All three black candidates fell short in their midterm races. Roland Burris (D-Ill.), who is the only African-American in the current Senate, will be succeeded by white Republican Mark Kirk.