The 2022 primaries are over. Here’s what you need to know about women nominees.

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED TO INCLUDE FINAL COUNTS FOR U.S. HOUSE NOMINEES INCLUSIVE OF THE RESULTS OF THE LOUISIANA JUNGLE PRIMARY THAT WAS HELD ON NOVEMBER 8, 2022. ALL OTHER DATA AND PREDICTIONS ARE AS OF THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE.

September 13, 2022 marked the end of the regular primary election season of 2022 and Louisiana’s congressional contests were conducted as jungle primaries on November 8, 2022. Inclusive of these results, the Center for American Women and Politics can confirm that a record number of women are nominees for governor and state legislatures, while new records will not be set for women nominees for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Putting these aggregate numbers into context offers additional insights into women’s nominations over time, across parties, as well as clarifying racial and ethnic diversity in the candidate and nominee pools.

Here are some insights into this year’s totals.

A record number of women are nominees for governor and state legislatures this year, while new records will not be set for women nominees for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate in 2022.

In 2022, 25 (16D, 9R) women are major-party nominees for governor, a 56.3% increase from the previous record of 16, set in 2018. Sixteen women are Democratic nominees for governor, a 33.3% increase from the previous record of 12, set in 2018. Nine women are Republican nominees for governor, an 80% increase from the previous record of 5, first set in 1986 and again in 2006 and 2010.

As of 2022, 19 states have never had a woman governor. Among the nominees for governor are women who could become the first women elected as governor in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, and New York. New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D), who ascended to the governorship through the line of succession in August 2021, is strongly favored to become the first woman elected governor of New York this year. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) is strongly favored to become the first woman governor of Arkansas and current Attorney General Maura Healey (D) is strongly favored to become the first woman elected as governor of Massachusetts; Jane Swift (R) served as acting governor from April 2001 to January 2003. If elected in November, Healey will also become the first openly lesbian governor in the United States, a milestone she would share with Oregon gubernatorial nominee and former State House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) who is in a competitive three-way contest to succeed incumbent Governor Kate Brown (D). If successful, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D) will be the first woman governor of Georgia and the first Black woman governor in the United States. Abrams became the first Black woman major-party nominee for governor in the U.S. in the 2018 election. In 2022, she is again facing now-Governor Brian Kemp (R) in a race currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report. In Colorado, Republican gubernatorial nominee Heidi Ganahl (R) is challenging incumbent Governor Jared Polis (D) in a contest where he is strongly favored; if successful, Ganahl would be the first woman governor of Colorado.

No state in U.S. history has had women concurrently serving as both governor and lieutenant governor. This year, four states have women nominees in the same party for both governor and lieutenant governor. These women run as a ticket in two states: Ohio (Democrats Nan Whaley and Cheryl Stephens) and Massachusetts (Democrats Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll). In two other states – Arkansas (Republicans Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Leslie Rutledge) and Oklahoma (Democrats Joy Hofmeister and Melinda Alizadeh-Fard), women of the same party run separately in both the primary and general election. In Rhode Island, a state where these offices are also selected separately, women are nominees of different parties for governor (Republican Ashley Kalus) and lieutenant governor (Democrat Sabina Matos). While women have never served simultaneously as governor and lieutenant governor, there have been several instances historically where women served as both governor and in a position that was next in line for succession that was not lieutenant governor.

In 2022, 20 (13D, 7R) women are major-party nominees for the U.S. Senate, short of the previous record of 23, set in 2018. Thirteen women are Democratic nominees for the U.S. Senate, short of the previous record of 15, set in 2018. Seven women are Republican nominees for the U.S. Senate, short of the previous record of 9, set in 2020.

As of 2022, 17 states have never been represented by a woman in the U.S. Senate. Among the nominees for the U.S. Senate are women who could become the first women elected as U.S. Senator from Alabama, Connecticut, Oklahoma, South Carolina. Katie Britt (R) is strongly favored to become the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama, a state where 2 (2D) women previously served in the U.S. Senate for brief periods as appointees to fill vacancies. Women nominees in Connecticut, Oklahoma (where women are Democratic nominees in both 2022 contests), and South Carolina are running in contests where their opponents are strongly favored.

In 2022, 260 (178D, 82R) women are major-party nominees for the U.S. House, short of the previous record of 298, set in 2020. 178 women are Democratic nominees for the U.S. House, short of the previous record of 204, set in 2020. 82 women are Republican nominees for the U.S. House, short of the previous record of 94, set in 2020.

As of 2022, 3 states (Mississippi, North Dakota, and Vermont) have never been represented by a woman in the U.S. House. Among the nominees for the U.S. House are women who could become the first women elected as U.S. Representative from Mississippi and Vermont. In Vermont, current State Senator Becca Balint (D) is strongly favored to become not only the first woman to represent Vermont in the U.S. House but also the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress from Vermont. Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman to Congress. In Mississippi, the only woman U.S. House nominee – Dianne Black (D, MS-01) – is not favored in her challenge to incumbent U.S. Representative Trent Kelly (R).

In 2022, 3614 (2306D, 1289R, 17NP, 1I, 1P) women are major-party nominees for state legislatures, a 4.9% increase from the previous record of 3446, set in 2020. 2306 women are Democratic nominees for state legislatures, short of the previous record of 2402, set in 2018. 1289 women are Republican nominees for state legislatures, a 16.7% increase from the previous record of 1105, set in 2020.

Latina/Hispanic women have achieved record highs as both candidates and nominees for the U.S. House in 2022.

In 2022, 36 (20D, 16R) Latina/Hispanic women are major-party nominees for the U.S. House, a 12.5% increase from the previous record of 32, set in 2020. Twenty Latina/Hispanic women are Democratic nominees for the U.S. House, up from the previous record of 19, set in 2020. Sixteen Latina/Hispanic women are Republican nominees for the U.S. House, a 23.1% increase from the previous record of 13, set in 2020.

While a record number of Latina/Hispanic women (85 [43D, 42R]) and Black women (134 [105D, 29R]) filed as candidates for the U.S. House in 2022, only Latina/Hispanic women achieved record-level nominations as a result of this year’s primary contests. The number of Black women nominees (56 [50D, 6R]), the number of Asian American/Pacific Islander women candidates (30 [16D, 14R]) and nominees (11 [6D, 5R]), and the number of white women candidates (322 [156D, 166R]) and nominees (159 [99D, 60R]) for the U.S. House in 2022 fall below previous highs. The numbers of Middle Eastern/North African women candidates (7 [3D, 4R]) and nominees (2 [1D, 1R]) for the U.S. House in 2022 are lower than in 2020, but this is just the third cycle that CAWP has collected data on this specific group of women.

The number of Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian women U.S. House candidates (17 [11D, 6R]) and nominees (7 [6D, 1R]) remains low in 2022, but historical comparison is difficult due to CAWP’s expansion of coding in this category. CAWP added Alaska Native as a category of self-identification in our data collection starting in 2019 and Native Hawaiian as a category for self-identification in our data collecting starting in 2021, limiting our ability to report historical information about these specific groups of women.

Seven states have the potential to elect their first Latina/Hispanic women to the U.S. House: Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. State Representative Delia Ramirez (D, IL-03) is strongly favored to win, and 4 (3D, 1R) more Latina/Hispanic women are in contests currently deemed competitive, including State Representative Yadira Caraveo (D, CO-08), State Representative Andrea Salinas (D, OR-06), former Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (D, OR-05), and Yesli Vega (R, VA-07). Chavez-DeRemer identifies as Latina/Hispanic and white.

Five states have the potential to elect their first Black woman to U.S. House: Arkansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Among these nominees, only one Black woman is favored to win in November: current State Representative Summer Lee (D, PA-12). All women who have represented Pennsylvania in Congress to date are white.

Three states have the potential to elect their first Asian American/Pacific Islander woman to the U.S. House: Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota. Among these nominees, only one Asian American/Pacific Islander woman is in a race currently considered competitive: Jennifer-Ruth Green (R, IN-01), who identifies as both Asian American and Black, is challenging incumbent U.S. Representative Frank Mvran (D) in a contest currently rated as a Democratic toss-up by Cook Political Report.

Five states have the potential to elect their first Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian women to the U.S. House: Alabama, Florida, Nevada, Virginia, and Wyoming. None of these women nominees are in contests currently deemed competitive or where they are favored to win.

One state – New York – has the potential to elect its first Middle Eastern/North African woman to the U.S. House, but she is not currently favored to win.  

Black women have achieved record highs as both candidates and nominees for the U.S. Senate and governor in 2022.

No Black women currently serve in the U.S. Senate and just 2 (2D) Black women have ever been U.S. Senators. In 2022, 4 (4D) Black women are major-party nominees for the U.S. Senate, up from the previous record of 2, set in 2014. Of these nominees, 2 (2D) Black women are in contests currently deemed competitive. Current U.S. Representative Val Demings (D) is challenging incumbent Senator Marco Rubio (R) in Florida and former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) is running in an open-seat contest in North Carolina. Both contests are currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.

A record number of Black women (22 [16D, 6R]) also filed as candidates for the U.S. Senate in 2022, unlike women of any other racial/ethnic group. The numbers of Latina/Hispanic women candidates (3 [1D, 2R]) and nominees (2 [1D, 1R]) for the U.S. Senate in 2022 match previous highs. The numbers of Asian American/Pacific Islander women candidates (2 [1D, 1R]) and nominees (1D), as well as the numbers of white women candidates (39 [13D, 26R]) and nominees (12 [6D, 6R), for the U.S. Senate in 2022 fall below previous highs. One (1D) Middle Eastern/North African woman filed as a U.S. Senate candidate but did not win a major-party nomination in 2022. Three (1D, 2R) Native American women were candidates for the U.S. Senate this year but just 1 (1D) is a major-party nominee in a contest strongly favoring her opponent.

No Black woman has ever served as governor in the United States. In 2022, 3 (3D) Black women are major-party nominees for governor. Stacey Abrams (D-GA) was the only Black woman to win a major-party nomination for governor prior to election 2022. She is a nominee again in 2022 and is the only Black woman gubernatorial nominee running in a contest currently deemed competitive.

While a record number of Asian American/Pacific Islander (5 [3D, 2R]), Latina/Hispanic women (6 [4D, 2R]), Black women (12 [11D, 1R]), and white women (49 [16D, 33R]) filed as candidates for governor in 2022, only Black and white women achieved record-level nominations as a result of this year’s primary contests. Of the 25 women gubernatorial nominees in 2022, 3 (3D) are Black, 1 (1D) – incumbent Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) – is Latina/Hispanic, and 21 (12D, 9R) are white.

There are a record number of woman v. woman gubernatorial general election contests in 2022, but the plurality of general election contests for U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and governor are all-male.

There are five woman v. woman general election gubernatorial contests in 2022, more than the number of woman v. woman gubernatorial contests in all of U.S. history to date (4) and more than twice the previous high for woman v. woman gubernatorial contests in a single election (2). These include two open-seat contests in Arizona and Oregon, as well as three contests where women incumbents are being challenged by other women in Alabama, Iowa, and Michigan.

While the number of all-woman gubernatorial contests is at a record high this year, they still represent just 13.9% of all general election gubernatorial contests. In contrast, the plurality of general election gubernatorial (44.4%), U.S. House (42.7%), and U.S. Senate (52.9%) contests in 2022 are man v. man. This includes Alaska’s four-way all-male gubernatorial general election.

Unlike at the gubernatorial level, the number of woman v. woman U.S. House and U.S. Senate contests are not at a record high this year. In 2022, there are 37 woman v. woman U.S. House contests, short of the previous high of 47 set in 2020. There are 3 woman v. woman U.S. Senate contests (including a three-way woman contest in Alaska), short of the previous high of 6 set in 2018.

Of the 32 general election U.S. House contests with Latina/Hispanic woman major-party nominees, four are Latina/Hispanic woman v. Latina/Hispanic woman contests. And of the 54 general election U.S. House contests with Black women major-party nominees, two are Black woman v. Black woman contests. There are no U.S. House contests where all major-party nominees are Asian American/Pacific Islander, Native, or MENA women.

Women remain underrepresented among all nominees for elective office in 2022, though they come closer to parity with men among Democratic nominees.

Women are more than 50% of the U.S. population but remain less than 35% of all major-party nominees for congressional and gubernatorial offices in the 2022 election. More specifically, women are 31% of all U.S. House, 29% of U.S. Senate, and 34.2% of gubernatorial nominees.

Consistent with previous elections, women are better represented among Democratic than Republican candidates in 2022. Among Democratic nominees already selected, women are 42.9% of House, 39.4% of Senate, and 44.4% of gubernatorial nominees this year. Among Republican nominees already selected, women are 19.4% of House, 19.4% of Senate, and 24.3% of gubernatorial nominees this year.

Women are a greater percentage of nominees for governor – overall and among Democrats and Republicans – this year than they were in 2018, the most comparable year for gubernatorial contests. In contrast, women are a smaller percentage of nominees for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate in 2022 than they were in 2020.

While the number of Republican women candidates increased across levels of office from 2020 to 2022, they still represent the minority of women major-party nominees for the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, governor, and state legislative offices.

The partisan gap in women’s nominations for elective offices, whereby the majority of women nominees are Democrats, persists in 2022. While Republican women were 54.3% of U.S. Senate and 53.6% of gubernatorial women candidates this year, they are just 35% of U.S. Senate and 36% of gubernatorial women nominees in 2022. In U.S. House contests, Democratic women outnumbered Republican women as both candidates (55.2%) and nominees (68.5%). This is not the first time that Republican women have outnumbered Democratic women running for U.S. Senate or governor – offices for which the numbers of women candidates are low in comparison to the U.S. House. The number of Republican women exceeding or matching Democratic women as Senate or gubernatorial nominees is especially rare in recent history.

Gains for women officeholders as a result of election 2022 will depend on the preservation of seats by women incumbents and the success of non-incumbent women nominees. The number of women U.S. House incumbents not returning in 2023 is notably high ahead of the general election. 

U.S. House

Currently, 123 (91D, 32R) women serve in the U.S. House. Whether or not women’s U.S. House representation rises or falls as a result of the 2022 election will depend on a number of key factors. First, how many incumbent women will keep their seats? Already in 2022 there are 18 (13D, 5R) women House incumbents who will not be returning in 2023. These include women who have decided to retire or run for other offices, as well as women who were defeated in their primary elections or – in the case of U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN) – passed away ahead of the fall election. This marks a high for departing women incumbents heading into Election Day and means that at least 18 non-incumbent women must be successful in U.S. House contests this year in order to reach a new high for women’s U.S. House representation in 2023 (Walorski is already removed from current counts).

So how many non-incumbent women will win in November? Based on current ratings from Cook Political Report, 19 (13D, 6R) non-incumbent women House nominees are favored to win general election contests (this counts just one woman from the all-woman, all-Democrat contest in CA-37).

And finally, how many women nominees are in contests that could break either way in the general election? Based on current ratings from Cook Political Report, 24 (13D, 11R) women House nominees are running in contests currently deemed especially competitive, including 10 (9D, 1R) women House incumbents who could lose their seats. Of these 10 (9D, 1R) vulnerable incumbents, 4 (4D) are being challenged by other women (this includes Alaska’s three-way contest, where women are two of three general election nominees). There are two more open-seat woman v. woman contests among the most competitive House races in 2022, adding to the contests that are all but assured to send a woman to the House in 2023.

U.S. Senate

Currently, 24 (16D, 8R) women serve in the U.S. Senate. Whether or not women’s U.S. Senate representation rises or falls as a result of the 2022 election will depend on a number of key factors. First, how many incumbent women will keep their seats? At this point in the 2022 cycle, there are no women Senate incumbents who are departing due to retirement, running for another office, or primary defeat. However, incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV) is running for re-election in a contest currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report, making her the most vulnerable woman incumbent senator of the 2022 cycle. Cortez-Masto is the first and only Latina/Hispanic woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate. Two other women incumbents might also be deemed vulnerable in November: Senator Maggie Hassan (D) is competing in a contest currently rated as “Lean Democratic” and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) is in a competitive, three-way, all-woman general election contest where she is being challenged by another Republican (Kelly Tshibaka).  

Beyond incumbents, how many non-incumbent women will win in November? As noted above, Kelly Tshibaka (R) is in a competitive three-way contest to replace Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) in Alaska. And based on current ratings from Cook Political Report, 1 (1R) more non-incumbent woman Senate nominee is currently favored to win her general election contest: Katie Britt (R) is poised to become the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama.

Governor

Currently, 9 (6D, 3R) women serve as governor. Whether or not women’s gubernatorial representation rises or falls as a result of the 2022 election will depend on a number of key factors. First, how many incumbent women will keep their seats? Just 1 (1D) woman incumbent governor – Kate Brown (D-OR) – is not returning in 2023 due to term limits. However, she will be replaced by a woman, as all nominees in the three-way general election contest for governor of Oregon are women.

Incumbent Governor Laura Kelly (D-KS) is running for re-election in a contest currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report, making her the most vulnerable woman incumbent governor of the 2022 cycle. Three other women incumbents might also be deemed vulnerable in November: Governors Janet Mills (D-ME), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) are all competing contests currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report. Whitmer (D) is being challenged by another woman nominee, all but ensuring that a woman remains governor in Michigan.

Beyond incumbents, how many non-incumbent women will win in November? Based on current ratings from Cook Political Report, 2 (1D, 1R) non-incumbent women gubernatorial nominees are strongly favored to win in November: Maura Healey (D-MA) and Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR).

Finally, two more non-incumbent women will become governor in Arizona and Oregon, states with open-seat gubernatorial contests where all major-party nominees are women.

Kelly Dittmar

Kelly Dittmar is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers–Camden and Director of Research and Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is the co-author of A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Representation Matters (Oxford University Press, 2018) (with Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll) and author of Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns (Temple University Press, 2015).