Republican Women Look to Primary Nominees in Georgia and Minnesota for Possible Pick-Ups in November


Congressional and statewide primaries were held on Tuesday in four states: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. In addition, primary runoff elections were held in Georgia. Hawaii also held its congressional primaries on Saturday, August 8th. Due to the reliance on mail-in voting, many races remain too close to call, so this post will be updated as results are determined. Full context about women in the 2020 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, results from previous primaries, and historical comparisons, are available via the Center for American Women and Politics’ Election Watch page.

Among the most notable results for women thus far:

  • Non-incumbent women won their party’s nominations in two contests that could result in gains for Republican women in November.
    • In Georgia’s 14th congressional district, Marjorie Greene won the Republican nomination in a district that strongly favors Republicans.
    • In Minnesota’s 7th congressional district, Michelle Fischbach won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Collin Peterson (D) in a race currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report.  
  • Freshman Representative Ilhan Omar (D) – who is the first woman of color to represent Minnesota in Congress and one of the first Muslim women in Congress – defeated her primary challenger by 18 points, securing the Democratic nomination in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. She is favored to win re-election in November.
  • Molly Gray won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont. She will run to replace current Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman (D), who secured the Democratic nomination for Governor of Vermont.
  • No women advanced to the general election in Hawaii’s major-party primary elections for the U.S. House, all but ensuring that the House delegation from Hawaii will be all-male for the first time since 2006. In the next Congress, Senator Mazie Hirono (D) will be the only woman in Hawaii’s four-member congressional delegation (U.S. House and U.S. Senate).

Connecticut

Georgia

Hawaii

Minnesota

Vermont

Wisconsin

 

Connecticut

U.S. House

Women are currently 2 (2D) of 5 members of the Connecticut delegation to the U.S. House (40%).

Women are 4 (2D, 2R) of 10 (40%) major-party nominees for U.S. House in Connecticut, including 2 of 5 (40%) Democrats and 2 of 5 (40%) Republicans.

  • Both (2D) of Connecticut’s incumbent women House members are nominees for re-election.
    • Representative Rosa DeLauro (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary for re-election in Connecticut’s 3rd congressional district. She will be challenged by Margaret Streicker (R) – who was also unopposed in the Republican primary – in an all-woman general election contest. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Representative Jahana Hayes (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary for re-election in Connecticut’s 5th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
  • 2 (2R) women will run as a challengers to incumbents in November.
    • Margaret Streicker (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary to challenge incumbent Representative Rosa DeLauro (D) in an all-woman general election contest. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Mary Fay (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Representative John Larson (D) in Connecticut’s 1st congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 4 (2D, 4R) women selected as major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Connecticut, just one – incumbent Representative Jahana Hayes (D) – is a woman of color. Hayes – who is Black – became the first woman of color elected to Congress from Connecticut in 2018.

 

Georgia Runoff

U.S. House

Primary runoff contests were held in Georgia on August 11th. Women are 2 (1D, 1R) of the 4 major-party nominees selected for the U.S. House in Tuesday’s runoff elections, including 1 of 2 (50%) Democrats and 1 of 2 (50%) Republicans.

  • Marjorie Greene (R) won the Republican nomination for the open seat in Georgia’s 14th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report, creating a likely pick-up for Republican women this fall.
  • Joyce Griggs (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Buddy Carter in Georgia’s 1st congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Combining these primary runoff results with the contests already decided in Georgia, women are 11 (6D, 5R) of 28 (39.3%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Georgia, including 6 of 14 (42.9%) Democrats and 5 of 14 (35.7%) Republicans. Altogether, 17 (9D, 8R) women candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House in Georgia.

Of the 11 (6D, 5R) women major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Georgia, 6 (4D, 2R) are women of color, including 5 (4D, 1R) Black women and 1 (1R) Latina. State Senator Nikema Williams (D) – who is Black – was selected as the Democratic nominee in Georgia’s 5th congressional district in July to replace the late Representative John Lewis (D). Williams will face another Black woman – Angela Stanton King (R) – in an all-woman general election contest currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.

 

Hawaii

U.S. House

Currently, there is one woman (1D) in Hawaii’s two-member delegation to the U.S. House (50%). Incumbent Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D) did not run for re-election in Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district.

No women advanced to the general election in Hawaii’s major-party primary elections for the U.S. House, all but ensuring that the House delegation from Hawaii will be all-male for the first time since 2006. There were 5 (2D, 3R) women candidates who were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House in Hawaii this year. In the next Congress, Senator Mazie Hirono (D) will be the only woman in Hawaii’s four-member congressional delegation (U.S. House and U.S. Senate).

 

Minnesota

U.S. Senate

On Tuesday, Senator Tina Smith (D) secured the Democratic nomination for re-election in November. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.

Three (3D) women have served in the U.S. Senate from Minnesota, including current Senators Tina Smith (D) and Amy Klobuchar (D). Minnesota is one of six states currently represented by two women in the U.S. Senate.

 U.S. House

Women are currently 3 (3D) of 8 members of the Minnesota delegation to the U.S. House (37.5%).

Women are 6 (5D, 1R) of 16 (37.5%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Minnesota, including 5 of 8 (62.5%) Democrats and 1 of 8 (12.5%) Republicans. This year, 5 (3D, 2R) women candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • All 3 (3D) incumbent women will advance to the general election.
    • Incumbent Representative Angie Craig (D), who won for the first time in 2018, was unopposed in the Democratic primary in Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Incumbent Representative Betty McCollum (D) won the Democratic nomination for re-election in Minnesota’s 4th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Incumbent Representative Ilhan Omar (D), who won for the first time in 2018, won the Democratic nomination for re-election in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
  • 3 (2D, 1R) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November.
    • Tawnja Zahradka (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Tom Emmer (R) in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Michelle Fischbach (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Collin Peterson (D) in Minnesota’s 7th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report.
    • Quinn Nystrom (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Pete Stauber (R) in Minnesota’s 8th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Likely Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 6 (5D, 1R) women major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Minnesota, just one – incumbent Representative Ilhan Omar (D) is a woman of color. Omar – who is Black – became the first woman of color elected to Congress from Minnesota in 2018. She is also one of the first Muslim women in the U.S. Congress.

 

Vermont

U.S. House

No women currently represent Vermont in the U.S. House. Vermont is the only state to never send a woman to the U.S. Congress.

Miriam Berry (R) is one of two major-party nominees for the U.S. House in Vermont. She won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Peter Welch (D) in Vermont’s at-large U.S. House seat. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report. One Republican woman candidate was unsuccessful in her primary bid for the U.S. House.

Statewide Executive Offices

Women currently hold 1 of 6 statewide elected executive offices in Vermont (16.7%). All statewide offices are up for election this year.

Women are 3 (2D, 1R) of 10 (30%) major-party nominees for statewide executive offices in Vermont, including 2 of 6 (33.3%) Democrats and 1 of 4 (25%) Republicans. 

  • Incumbent State Treasurer Beth Pearce (D) was unopposed the Democratic primary. Carolyn Branagan (R) was also unopposed in the Republican primary for state treasurer, ensuring an all-woman general election contest.
  • Molly Gray (D) won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont.

Of the 3 (2D, 1R) women nominees for statewide executive office, none are women of color. No woman of color has ever been elected statewide in Vermont.

 

Wisconsin

U.S. House

Currently, there is one woman (1D) in Wisconsin’s eight-member delegation to the U.S. House (12.5%).

As of August 14th, women are 4 (4D) of 15 (26.7%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Wisconsin, including 4 of 8 (50%) Democrats and 0 of 7 (0%) Republicans already selected. There is one woman candidate competing for the Republican nomination in a contest still too close to call in Wisconsin’s 4th congressional district. Thus far, one Republican woman candidate was unsuccessful in her primary bid for the U.S. House.

  • Incumbent Representative Gwen Moore (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary in Wisconsin’s 4th congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
  • At least 3 (3D) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November. One more women challenger remains in a Republican primary contest that is too close to call.
    • Jessica King (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Glenn Grothman (R) in Wisconsin’s 6th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Tricia Zunker (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Tom Tiffany (R) in Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican”  by Cook Political Report. Zunker was defeated by Tiffany by 14.4 points in the special election in WI-07 in February 2020.
    • Amanda Stuck (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Mike Gallagher (R) in Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 4 (4D) women who are already selected as major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Wisconsin, 2 (2D) are women of color, including incumbent Representative Gwen Moore (D) – who is Black – and Tricia Zunker (D) – who is Native American. If successful, Zunker would be the first Native American woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin.