Women in Statewide Executive Elective Office

Facts

Women in Statewide Elected Executive Office 2017

Current women serving in statewide elective executive offices. 


History of Women Governors 

List of women who have been governors.


History of Women in Statewide Elected Executive Office (1969-current)

Summary of numbers of women and party breakdown. 

 

Fact Sheet Archive on Women in Statewide Elected Executive Office (2002-2014)

Research

Candidates Matter: Gender Differences in Election 2016

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

We looked at gender and party differences in candidate numbers and success in election 2016 to better understand why women made so little progress in representation. Our data demonstrates, consistent with research to date, that there appears to be no consistent gender disparity in candidate win rates; the real gender disparities exist in the proportions of women and men running at each phase of the electoral process. These conclusions are consistent across party, though the dearth of women candidates is particularly acute in the Republican party. 

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
Women of Color in Politics
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Women in Statewide Elected Executive Office 2017

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

In 2017, 75 (32D, 42R, 1NP) women serve in statewide elected executive offices, comprising 24% of the 312 positions elected nationwide. This is the same as the total number of women who served in statewide elected executive office at the end of 2016. The current proportion of women in statewide elected executive office is below the previous high of 28.5%, set in 2000. Women currently serve in statewide elected executive offices in 36 states.

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

#WomenRun2016: Statewide Elected Executive Office Outlook

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

There are 312 statewide elected executive offices nationwide. Not all of these offices are up for election in 2016. This post reviews women’s presence among the candidates competing for the positions being contested this year.  

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

Women in State Government: Still Too Few

by Susan J. Carroll
in The Book of the States, Vol. 48 edited by The Council of State Governments (Lexington, KY: The Council of State Governments, 2016).

In recent years the movement of women into state-level offices has slowed after several decades of gains. Efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions will be critical in determining what the future holds for women in state government.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Impact of Women Public Officials
Women Political Appointees
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Officeholding in the Fifty States: The Pathways Women of Color Take to Statewide Elective Executive Office

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Book chapter in Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics, edited by Nadia E. Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon (New York: Routledge Press, 2016)

This chapter investigates the pathways that women of color have taken to statewide elective executive office. Though underrepresented, a sufficient number of minority women have reached statewide executive office to make possible an initial analysis. The traditional scholarly focus on either race alone or gender alone has often obscured the situation of women of color. Yet, previous scholarship has shown that minority women’s access to office and pathways into office often differ from their male and White female counterparts. The chapter shows the gains of women of color, identifies patterns in their pathways to office, and explores the barriers that remain.

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

Voices. Votes. Leadership. The Status of Black Women in American Politics 2015

By the Center for American Women and Politics for Higher Heights Leadership Fund, 2015
Authored by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D, Assistant Research Professor, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

This comprehensive report provides a historical outline of Black women’s struggle for political representation. It discusses the current landscape of political leadership for Black women across the country and across levels of office, their growing political influence, and the outlook for Black women's participation in the 2016 elections. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of Black women in politics and government.

Report
Research
Women of Color in Politics
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature
Local

Why Not a Woman of Color?: The Candidacies of US Women of Color for Statewide Executive Office

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Oxford University Press (September 2015) 

This review essay focuses on the intersection of gender and race in statewide executive officeholding. The author argues that scholarly neglect of this topic risks naturalizing the dearth of women of color in statewide executive positions, sending the message that it is understandable that women lack access to those offices and/or that such offices aren’t realistically obtainable. Using data from the Center for American Women and Politics, the author examines the status of women of color in statewide offices and state and party patterns in their presence as candidates and officeholders. Directions for future research are suggested. 

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

The Status of Black Women in American Politics 2014

By the Center for American Women and Politics for Higher Heights Leadership Fund, 2014
Authored by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D, Assistant Research Professor, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

This comprehensive report provides a historical outline of black women’s struggle for political representation and discusses the current landscape of political leadership for black women across the country as well as their growing political influence. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of black women in politics and government.

Report
Research
Women of Color in Politics
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature
Local

Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 3rd Edition

Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2013 Third Edition, 287 pages 

The third edition of Gender and Elections highlights the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2012 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, presidential and vice-presidential candidacies, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the political involvement of Latinas, the participation of African American women, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state elections. Earlier editions (First Edition 2006, Second Edition 2010) provide similar analysis for the 2004 and 2008 elections.

Book
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
Women Voters and the Gender Gap
Women of Color in Politics
Federal Executive
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Women’s Election to Office in the Fifty States: Opportunities and Challenges

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Book chapter in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics,
Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2013 Third Edition, pp. 265-287.

Discussion of the barriers and opportunities women face in seeking state legislative and statewide executive office and the differences across states in women's officeholding. Party is a key factor in understanding women's candidacies and women's representation. 

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Pages