Miller, Newman Push Potential Gains for Women in Illinois Congressional Delegation

 

Congressional primaries were held on Tuesday in Illinois. The Ohio primary was postponed due to a state of emergency. 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’ (CAWP) Election Watch.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • In Illinois’ 3rd district, Marie Newman (D) defeated the incumbent of her own party, Dan Lipinski.
    • This was the first defeat of an incumbent in the 2020 election cycle.
    • She lost to Lipinski in the 2018 primary by 2 points.
    • This seat is currently rated “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report, meaning this is a likely gain for Democratic women in the House.
  • Mary Miller (R) won her nomination for a House seat in Illinois’ 15th district. Cook Political Report categorizes this seat as “Solid Republican,” making this a likely gain for Republican women in November.
  • There are woman vs. woman races in three Illinois districts (2nd, 15th, 17th).
  • Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D) won her nomination for the 13th district and will run against incumbent Rodney L. Davis (R).
    • This seat is rated as “Toss Up Republican” by Cook.

Illinois

U.S. Senate

  • Just 1 (1R) woman – Peggy Hubbard – was on the ballot for the U.S. Senate in Illinois this year. She lost her bid to challenge Democratic incumbent Senator Dick Durbin in November.
  • 2 (2D) women have served in the U.S. Senate from Illinois. Tammy Duckworth (D) is currently serving in the U.S. Senate. Carol Moseley-Braun (D), who was the first Black woman in the U.S. Senate, represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate from 1993-1998.

U.S. House

Women are currently 4 (4D) of 18 members of the Illinois delegation to the U.S. House.

Women are 14 of 34 (41.2%) major-party nominees for U.S. House in Illinois, including 8 of 17 (47.1%) Democrats and 6 of 17 (35.3%) Republicans. A total of 9 women (6D, 3R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their bid for a U.S. House nomination.

  • All 4 (4D) of the current incumbent women are running for re-election and each will be nominees in November. Robin Kelly (IL-02), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) are strongly favored for re-election according to the Cook Political Report. Cook categorizes Freshman Representative Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) seat as “Toss Up Democratic,” making it the only Illinois race with an incumbent Democratic woman currently deemed competitive.
  • Of the 6 (6D) women running as challengers to members of their own party in Illinois primaries, 1 (1D) – Marie Newman – was successful in Illinois’ 3rd congressional district. Newman, who previously challenged incumbent Representative Dan Lipinski (D) in 2018 and lost by just 2 points, won this year to become the first candidate to defeat an incumbent this election cycle. The general election in IL-03 is now an open seat race.
  • 2 (1D, 1R) women are nominees for the other open U.S. House seat in Illinois’ 15th congressional district. In a district that strongly favors Republicans, Mary Miller (R) is favored to win against Erika Weaver (D). Miller’s nomination and strong chances to win in November position her as a likely pick-up for Republican women in the House in 2021.
  • 8 (3D, 5R) women candidates were nominated to challenge U.S. House incumbents from Illinois in November. Only 2 (1D, 1R) are running in contests currently deemed competitive by Cook Political Report. Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D), who was the Democratic nominee for the same seat in 2018, will challenge Republican incumbent Representative Rodney L. Davis (R) in Illinois’ 13th congressional district, which is currently rated as “Toss Up Republican” by Cook. Dirksen Londrigan lost to Davis in 2018 by less than one point. 2018 gubernatorial primary candidate Jeanne Ives (R) is the Republican nominee for Illinois’ 6th congressional district and will challenge incumbent Democratic Sean Casten in a seat currently rated “Lean Democratic.”
  • There are three woman vs. woman races in Illinois’ 2nd, 15th, and 17th congressional districts. Republican women nominees will challenge Democratic women incumbents in Illinois’ 3rd (Democratic incumbent Robin Kelly v. Republican challenger Theresa Raborn) and 17th (Democratic incumbent Cheri Bustos v. Republican challenger Esther Joy King), with both Democratic incumbents favored to win. In Illinois’ 15th congressional district, Mary Miller (R) and Erika Weaver (D) will compete for an open seat that strongly favors Miller.

Of the 14 (8D, 6R) women who are major-party nominees for the U.S. House in Illinois, 5 (3D, 2R) are women of color. Erika Weaver (D, IL-15), Lauren Underwood (D, IL-14), Robin Kelly (D, IL-2), and Philanise White (R, IL-1) all identify as Black women. Valerie Ramirez Makherjee (R, IL-10) identifies as both Hispanic and White.

There are no statewide executive elections in Illinois this year.

Despite Primary Victories, Women Unlikely to Make Gains in Mississippi Congressional Delegation

 

Congressional primaries were held on Tuesday in Mississippi. 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’ (CAWP) Election Watch.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi, is likely to win re-election to a full term in the U.S. Senate this year.
  • While 2 (2D) women won major-party nominations in U.S. House contests, they are running as challengers in districts where their incumbent opponents are strongly favored to win. If that happens, Mississippi will remain a state that has never sent a woman to the U.S. House.

 

Mississippi

U.S. Senate

Just one woman has served in the Senate from Mississippi: current Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R). She was appointed to fill a vacancy caused by a resignation and was subsequently elected in a special election on 11/27/18. Hyde-Smith is also the only woman ever elected to Congress from the state of Mississippi.

  • Just 1 (1R) woman – Cindy Hyde-Smith – was on the ballot for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi this year. She is the incumbent senator and ran in an uncontested primary.
  • Hyde-Smith will face Democratic nominee Mike Espy in the general election. This will be a rematch of the special election contest she won in to become the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi. The race is currently rated as “likely Republican” by Cook Political Report.

U.S. House

No woman has ever been elected to the U.S. House from Mississippi and that is unlikely to change in 2020.

Women candidates have secured 2 out of 7 (28.6%) major-party nominations for U.S. House seats decided in Mississippi on March 10th. Women are 2 of 3 (66.7%) Democratic nominees for the U.S. House and 0 of 4 (0%) Republican nominees for the U.S. House in Mississippi. Of the 2 (2R) candidates advancing to the runoff elections, 0 are women. 2 (2D) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their bid for the nomination.

  • Antonia Eliason (D) was unopposed in her bid for the Democratic nomination in Mississippi’s 1st congressional district. She will run as a challenger against incumbent Republican Trent Kelly in the general election in which Kelly is strongly favored to win, according to Cook Political Report.
  • Dorothy “Dot” Benford won the Democratic nomination in a woman v. woman primary in  Mississippi’s 3rd district. She will run as a challenger against incumbent Republican Michael Guest in the general election in which Guest is strongly favored to win, according to Cook Political Report.

There are no statewide executive elections in Mississippi this year.

March 3rd Primary Results: Texas, North Carolina Could Increase Women’s Representation in Congress; Arkansas Likely to Maintain a Women’s Delegation of Zero

 

Congressional and statewide primaries were held on Tuesday in five states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and Texas. Many races in California 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, and historical comparisons, is available via the Center for American Women and Politics’ (CAWP) Election Watch.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • North Carolina has the potential to increase the representation of women in its congressional delegation. 2 (2D) women are nominees in districts currently represented by men that are favored to flip from Republican to Democratic control, and 1 (1R) woman advanced to a runoff in the solidly Republican district currently represented by Mark Meadows.
  • Though a large number of races remain too close to call in Texas, the state also has the potential to increase the number of women it sends to Congress. In the 24th congressional district, the race to replace retiring Kenny Marchant will be decided between two women, and 1 (1D) woman is running in an open seat race to replace a retiring congressman in a district that is rated as leaning Democrat.
  • Arkansas currently has zero women in its congressional delegation. While two Democratic women advanced in uncontested primaries, those districts are rated solidly Republican, meaning Arkansas will almost assuredly continue to have no women in Congress in 2021.
  • The lone Republican woman in the Alabama congressional delegation, Martha Roby, is retiring this year and the women running for the Republican nomination were defeated in the primary. As a result, Alabama will send no GOP women to Congress in 2021. (Current Democratic congresswoman from Alabama Terri Sewell ran unopposed in the primary and has no Republican opponent in the fall.)
  • Many races in California remain too close to call, but women are currently 34 of 98 (34.7%) nominees for U.S. House that have already been determined as of March 24th.

Alabama

Arkansas

California

North Carolina

Texas

Alabama

U.S. Senate

  • Just 1 (1R) woman – Ruth Page Nelson – was on the ballot for the U.S. Senate in Alabama this year. She lost her bid to challenge Democratic incumbent Senator Doug Jones in November.
  • 2 (2D) women have served in the U.S. Senate from Alabama, though both were appointed to fill a vacancy caused by resignation or death, and neither served more than one year: Maryon Pittman Allen (D) served from June to November 1978 and Dixie Bibb Graves (D) served from August 1937 to January 1938. No woman has been elected to the Senate from Alabama.

U.S. House

Women are currently 2 (1D, 1R) of 7 members of the Alabama delegation to the U.S. House.

Women candidates secured 3 of 8 (37.5%) major-party nominations for U.S. House seats decided in Alabama on March 3rd. Women are 3 of 4 (75%) Democratic nominees for U.S. House and 0 of 4 (0%) Republican nominees for the U.S. House in Alabama. Of the 6 (2D, 4R) candidates advancing to runoff elections on March 31, 2020, 1 (1D) – Kiani Gardner (D, AL-01) – is a woman. 

  • Incumbent Representative Martha Roby (R), one of just 13 Republican women in the U.S. House, did not run for re-election this year in Alabama’s 2nd congressional district. While 2 Republican women sought the nomination to replace her this year, they were defeated in the primary election. As a result, Alabama is sure to have no Republican women in Congress in 2021.
  • Phyllis Harvey-Hall (D) won the Democratic nomination in Alabama’s 2nd congressional district, an open seat created by Roby’s retirement that strongly favors the Republican nominee according to Cook Political Report.
  • Incumbent Representative Terri Sewell (D) was unopposed in her primary bid for re-election in Alabama’s 7th congressional district. She has no Republican opponent this fall.
  • Adia Winfrey (D) was unopposed in her bid for the Democratic nomination in Alabama’s 3rd congressional district. She will challenge incumbent Representative Mike Rogers (R) in a general election in which Rogers is strongly favored to win according to Cook Political Report

All 3 (3D) women nominees for the U.S. House from Alabama are Black women. In addition, Kiani Gardner (D) – who will advance to the Democratic primary runoff election in Alabama’s 1st congressional district – identifies as Asian/Pacific Islander.

Statewide Elected Executive Office

Just one statewide elected executive office is up for election in Alabama in 2020: Public Service Commissioner. Incumbent Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) won the Republican nomination for re-election. She will be challenged by Laura Casey (D), who won the Democratic nomination on March 3rd.

While women will be 100% of major-party candidates for statewide elected executive office on the ballot in November, they are just 2 of 10 (20%) statewide elected executive officeholders in Alabama today: Governor Kay Ivey (R) and Public Service Commission Twinkle Cavanaugh (R).

Arkansas

U.S. Senate

There were no women candidates for the U.S. Senate in Arkansas this year. Incumbent Senator Tom Cotton ran uncontested in the Republican primary and Democrats did not put forth any candidate to be Cotton’s challenger in the general election.

2 (2D) women have served in the U.S. Senate from Arkansas: Blanche Lincoln (D) served from 1999 to 2010 and Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D) served from 1931 to 1944. While first appointed to office, Caraway became the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1932.

U.S. House

Arkansas is currently one of 12 states with no women in their congressional delegation. No woman has served in the U.S. House from Arkansas since Blanche Lincoln’s term ended in January 1997. 

In 2020, Women are 2 of 7 (28.6%) major-party nominees for U.S. House in Arkansas, including 2 of 3 (66.7%) Democrats and 0 of 4 (0%) Republicans. Each of these U.S. House primary candidates was uncontested in their bids for nomination.

  • The 2 Democratic women nominees will challenge Republican incumbents in districts deemed to be solidly Republican by Cook Political Report, including: Joyce Elliott (AR-02) and Celeste Williams (AR-03).

Joyce Elliott (D, AR-02), who identifies as Black, is the only woman of color nominee for the U.S. House. Arkansas has never sent a woman of color to the U.S. Congress.  

There are no statewide executive elections in Arkansas this year.

California

U.S. House

Women are currently 17 (17D) of 53 members of the CA delegation to the U.S. House.

As of March 24th, women are 34 of 98 (34.7%) nominees for U.S. House already selected in California, but even more women candidates are in contests that have not yet been called. CAWP will update this post as results are confirmed. Of the 34 (24D, 10R) nominees already selected, 16 (16D) are incumbents, 4 (4D) will run for open seats, and 14 (4D, 10R) will run as challengers to incumbents in November.

  • Of the 14 (4D, 10R) women challengers already nominated, only 2 (2R) are running in districts deemed competitive by Cook Political Report: Young Kim (R, CA-39), who was the Republican nominee in 2018 and lost by 3 points to Democrat Gil Cisneros, and Michelle Steel (R, CA-48). Both women identify as Asian/Pacific Islander.
  • In the 4 open seat contests where women are running (CA-08, CA-25, CA-50, CA-53), 4 (4D) women candidates have secured a nomination thus far; Sara Jacobs (D) and Georgette Gomez (D) have advanced to the general election to replace Representative Susan Davis in California's 53rd congressional district, ensuring that a woman will fill that seat. Jacobs ran for the U.S. House in 2018 in California's 49th congressional district, but did not advance to the general election. In California's 25th congressional district, current California Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) has advanced to the general election to fill the vacancy created by Representative Katie Hill's (D) resignation last year. Both women are running in districts that favor Democrats. Christine Bubser (D) has advanced to the general election in California's 8th congressional district, which currently favors Republicans according to Cook Political Report.
  • Results are still too close to call for remaining women candidates in open seat contests.

North Carolina

U.S. Senate

  • 2 (1D, 1R) women were on the ballot for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina this year. They were both defeated in their respective party primaries. Incumbent Senator Thom Tillis (R) will run for re-election in November in a contest currently deemed leaning Republican by Cook Political Report.
  • Just two women have served in the U.S. Senate from North Carolina: Kay Hagan (D) served from 2009-2014 and Elizabeth Dole (R) served from 2003-2008.

U.S. House

Women are currently 2 (1D, 1R) of 13 members of the North Carolina delegation to the U.S. House.

Women are 7 of 25 (28%) major-party nominees for U.S. House already selected in North Carolina, including 5 of 13 (38.5%) Democrats and 2 of 12 (16.7%). One more woman – Lynda Bennett – has advanced to the runoff Republican primary election on May 12th. 5 (3D, 2R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • Both incumbent women – Republican Virginia Foxx (NC-05) and Democrat Alma Adams (NC-12) will be nominees in November and both are strongly favored for re-election according to Cook Political Report.
  • 2 (2D) women are nominees for open seats in two districts (NC-02 and NC-06) that are currently favored to flip from Republican to Democrat in November. Both Democratic women nominees – Kathy Manning (NC-06) and Deborah Ross (NC-02) – previously ran and won nominations for the U.S. Congress, but were unsuccessful in general elections.
  • 3 (2D, 1R) women will challenge incumbents in districts where those incumbents are favored to win according to Cook Political Report: Sandra Smith (R, NC-01), Patricia Timmons-Goodson (D, NC-08), and Cynthia Wallace  (D, NC-09).
  • In North Carolina’s 11th District, Lynda Bennett (R) was 1 of 2 women in a 12-person field for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Representative Mark Meadows (R). She will advance to the runoff election in May, already having the endorsement of the incumbent. This race is currently rated as solidly Republican by Cook Political Report, indicating another potential gain for women in North Carolina’s congressional delegation.

Of the 7 women who are major-party nominees for the U.S. House from North Carolina, 3 (3D) are Black women: incumbent Representative Alma Adams (NC-12), Cynthia Wallace (NC-09), and Patricia Timmons-Goodson (NC-08).

Statewide Elected Executive Office

Women are currently 3 (2D, 1R) of 10 statewide elected executive officials in North Carolina. All 10 offices, including governor, are up for election in 2020.

This year, women are 6 of 19 (31.6%) major-party nominees for statewide elected executive offices already selected in North Carolina, including 5 of 9 (55.6%) Democrats and 1 of 10 (10%) Republicans. 2 (2D) more women will compete in the Democratic primary runoff election for Lieutenant Governor. 7 (2D, 5R) women candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for statewide elected executive offices.

  • Both Democratic incumbents will run for re-election in November; Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) was uncontested in the primary State Auditor Beth Wood (D) won the Democratic nomination.
    • Republican Incumbent Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry (R) did not run for re-election this year. She is the only Republican woman ever elected to statewide executive office in North Carolina.
  • 3 (2D, 1R) women nominees will run for open statewide elected executive offices:
    • Jessica Holmes (D) was uncontested as the Democratic candidate for Commissioner of Labor.
    • Jen Mangrum (D) and Catherine Truitt (R) will compete against each other this fall to become Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Jenna Wadsworth (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler (R) in November.

Of the 6 women who are major-party nominees for the statewide elected executive offices in North Carolina, 1 (1D) is a Black woman: Jessica Holmes (D), nominee for Commissioner of Labor. Yvonne Lewis Holley (D), who has advanced to the runoff to be the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, is also Black. North Carolina has never elected a woman of color to statewide elected office.

Texas

U.S. Senate

MJ Hegar has advanced to a runoff election for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate from Texas. The winner of the runoff will challenge incumbent Senator John Cornyn (R) in November in a contest deemed solidly Republican by Cook Political Report.  

  • Just one woman has served in the U.S. Senate from Texas: Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) served from 1993-2012. Hegar would be the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate from Texas.
  • Hegar was the Democratic nominee in Texas’ 31s congressional district in 2018; she lost to incumbent Representative John Carter by 3 points in the general election. 

U.S. House

Women are currently 6 (5D, 1R) of 36 members of the Texas delegation to the U.S. House.

Women are 18 of 56 (32.1%) nominees for U.S. House already selected in Texas and another 12 (7D, 5R) women have advanced to runoff elections on May 26, 2020. Of the 18 (13D, 5R) nominees selected, 6 (5D, 1R) are incumbents, 10 (7D, 3R) will run as challengers to incumbents, and 2 (1D, 1R) will run for open seats in November. 36 (14D, 22R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • Gina Ortiz Jones is the Democratic nominee in Texas’ 23rd congressional district, where she narrowly lost to incumbent Representative Will Hurd (R) in 2018. This year, the seat is open and is currently rated as leaning Democratic in Jones’ favor. If elected in November, Jones would be the first Asian/Pacific Islander woman in Congress from Texas as well as the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from Texas.
  • Even with a Democratic primary runoff yet to be held, we know that the general election contest for Texas’ 24th congressional district will be between 2 women. Beth Van Duyne (R) has secured the Republican nomination and 2 women will compete for the Democratic nomination in May. This open seat, though currently held by a Republican, is deemed a toss-up by Cook Political Report.
  • Of the 10 (7D, 3R) women candidates already nominated to challenge incumbents in November, only 2 (1D, 1R) are running in a contest currently deemed competitive by Cook Political Report. Former state senator and gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis (D) is will challenge incumbent Representative Chip Roy (R) in Texas’ 21st congressional district, which is currently rated as leaning Republican. Genevieve Collins (R) will challenge incumbent Representative Colin Allred (D) in Texas’ 32nd congressional district, which is currently rated as leaning Democrat.

Statewide Elected Executive Office

Cristi Craddick (R) is the only woman currently holding statewide elected executive office in Texas. She is 1 of 3 railroad commissioners. There are 9 total statewide elected executive offices in Texas.

This year, one of the three railroad commissioner offices, not Craddick’s, is up for election. It is the only statewide executive election in Texas in 2020. One woman – Chrysta Castañeda – has advanced to the Democratic primary runoff election on May 26, 2020. If successful, she will oppose Jim Wright, who defeated incumbent Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton in the Republican primary election. 

For primary results summaries from other states and full context about women in the 2020 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, see CAWP’s Election Watch page.