Results from Indiana and Ohio Primaries: Possible Gains for Women in the U.S. House and an All-Woman Gubernatorial Ticket

Updated 4:30pm 5/5/22

Two primaries were held on Tuesday in Indiana and Ohio. Full context about women in the 2022 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, are available via the Center for American Women and Politics’ (CAWP) Election Watch.

Among the most notable results thus far for women:

  • Indiana has the potential to pick up seats for Republican women in the U.S. House, including open-seat nominee and former State Senator Erin Houchin (R) in IN-09 and challenger Jennifer-Ruth Green (R) in IN-01. If successful in November, Green – who identifies as Black and Asian – would be the first Asian American woman to represent Indiana in Congress. Both incumbent women – Representatives Jackie Walorski (R) and Victoria Spartz (R) – are strongly favored to win re-election in November.
  • In Ohio, Nan Whaley (D) and Cheryl Stephens (D) have the potential to become the first women to serve concurrently as governor and lieutenant governor of a U.S. state if they successfully challenge incumbent Governor Mike DeWine (R) and Lieutenant Governor John Husted (R) in the state's general election in November. If the Democratic ticket is successful, Whaley will be the first woman elected as governor of Ohio. (Nancy Hollister (R), who was lieutenant governor, served as governor for 11 days when her predecessor took a U.S. Senate seat and the successor had not yet been sworn in.) Stephens would also be the first Black woman Democrat elected statewide in Ohio. 
  • While Ohio incumbent Representatives Joyce Beatty (D) and Shontel Brown (D) are strongly favored to win re-election in Ohio’s general election in November, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D) – the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House – is competing in a general election contest considered a toss-up due to redistricting.
  • Both major-party nominees in the open-seat contest in OH-13 are women – State Representative Emilia Sykes (D) and Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) – all but ensuring a new woman in Ohio’s U.S. House delegation.

 

Indiana

U.S. Senate

There are no women running for the U.S. Senate in Indiana this year. Both major-party nominees are men, including incumbent Senator Todd Young (R). There has never been a woman from Indiana in the U.S. Senate.

 

U.S. House

Women currently hold 2 (2R) of 9 (22.2%) seats in the Indiana delegation to the U.S. House. Eight (4D, 4R) women have ever served in the U.S. House from Indiana.

Nine (2D, 7R) women filed as candidates for U.S. House seats in Indiana in 2022. This marks the highest number of Republican women running for the U.S. House in Indiana between 1990 and 2022.

Based on primary election results, women are 7 of 18 (38.9%) major-party nominees for U.S. House in Indiana, including 2 of 9 (22.2%) Democrats and 5 of 9 (55.6%) Republicans. The number of women major-party nominees for the U.S. House matches the previous high, first set in 2018. Two (2R) women House candidates were unsuccessful.  

  • Both women incumbents – Representatives Victoria Spartz (R) and Jackie Walorski (R) – were unopposed in the primary election and will run for re-election this fall in districts currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. Due to redistricting, Spartz will run in a more strongly Republican-leaning 5th congressional district in 2022 (R+22) than when she first won the seat in that district in 2020 (R+8), according to FiveThirtyEight.
  • Former State Senator Erin Houchin (R) is the Republican nominee Indiana’s only open-seat U.S. House contest in IN-09, a district currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
  • 4 (2D, 2R) women will challenge incumbents in November.
    • Jennifer-Ruth Green (R) will challenge incumbent Representative Frank Mvran in IN-01, a district currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report. If successful, Green – who identifies as Black and Asian – would be the first Asian woman to represent Indiana in Congress. She would also be just the second Black Republican woman to serve in Congress.
    • Jeannine Lee Lake (D) will challenge incumbent Representative Victoria Spartz (R) in IN-05, a district currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. Lake was the Democratic nominee in IN-06 in election 2020, when she was defeated by incumbent Representative Greg Pence (R) by 41 points. Lake was also the Democratic nominee in IN-06 in 2018, when Pence bested her by 31 points.
    • Both Angela Grabavsky (R, IN-07) and Cynthia Wirth (D, IN-06) are nominees in contests that strongly favor their incumbent opponents.

Of the 7 (2D, 5R) women nominees for U.S. House in Indiana, Jeannine Lee Lake (D, IN-05) identifies as Black and Jennifer-Ruth Green (R, IN-01) identifies as Black and Asian American. All other women nominees identify as white. No Asian American woman has been elected to Congress from Indiana.

 

Statewide Elective Executive Office

Women currently hold 4 (4R) of 7 (57.1%) statewide elective executive offices in Indiana. 22 (5D, 17R) women have ever served in statewide elective executive office in Indiana.

In 2022, nominees for 3 statewide elective executive offices – secretary of state, state auditor, and state treasurer – will be selected at party conventions on June 18, 2022.

 

Ohio

U.S. Senate

There has never been a woman from Ohio in the U.S. Senate.

Three (2D, 1R) women filed as candidates for the open-seat U.S. Senate contest in Ohio in 2022. This marks the highest number of women running for the U.S. Senate, as well as the highest number of Democratic women running for the U.S. Senate, in Ohio between 1990 and 2022.  

No women were successful in their bids to become major-party nominees for U.S. Senate in 2022.

 

U.S. House

Women currently hold 3 (3D) of 16 (18.8%) seats in the Ohio delegation to the U.S. House. Twelve (8D, 4R) women have ever served in the U.S. House from Ohio.  

Ohio has lost a U.S. House seat due to reapportionment. It’s new congressional map, with 15 congressional districts, is being challenged in court, but the Ohio Supreme Court will not rule in time to affect the 2022 election. As a result, this will be the map used for this cycle with the expectation that the map could change again for 2024.

Sixteen (10D, 6R) women filed as candidates for U.S. House seats in Ohio in 2022.

Based on primary election results, women are 9 of 30 (30%) major-party nominees for U.S. House selected in Ohio, including 8 of 15 (53.3%) Democrats and 1 of 15 (6.7%) Republicans. Six (2D, 4R) women House candidates were unsuccessful, with another 1 (1R) woman who withdrew before Election Day but appeared on the primary ballot. The previous high for women nominees in Ohio U.S. House contests is 13, first set in 2020.

  • 2 (2D) women incumbents – Representatives Joyce Beatty (D) and Marcy Kaptur (D) – were unopposed in the primary election, and Representative Shontel Brown (D) defeated Nina Turner (D) in a rematch of last summer’s special election primary.
    • Beatty (D) and Brown (D) will run in general election contests currently rated as “Solid Democrat” by Cook Political Report.
    • Due to redistricting, Kaptur (D) – the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House – is running for re-election in a district currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report.
  • 2 (1D, 1R) women are nominees in the open-seat contest in OH-13, a district currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report. State Representative Emilia Sykes (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary and Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) won the Republican primary.
  • 4 (4D) women will challenge incumbents in November. All women challengers are running in general election contests that strongly favor their opponents, according to the latest Cook Political Report ratings.

Of the 9 (8D, 1R) women nominees already selected for U.S. House in Ohio, 5 (5D) identify as Black – including incumbents Joyce Beatty (D, OH-03) and Shontel Brown (D, OH-11), open-seat candidate Emilia Sykes (D, OH-13), and challengers Vanessa Enoch (D, OH-08) and Tamie Wilson (D, OH-04), who identifies as both Black and white. Five (4D, 1R) women nominees, including Wilson, identify as white.

 

Statewide Elective Executive Office

Women currently hold 0 of 6 (0%) statewide elective executive offices in Ohio. Nine (4D, 5R) women have ever served in statewide elective executive office in Ohio, including 4 women who held more than one statewide elective executive position.

Five (4D, 1R) women filed as candidates for the 6 statewide elective executive seats up for election in Ohio in 2022.

Based on primary election results, women are 3 of 12 (25%) major-party nominees for statewide elective executive offices already selected in Ohio, including 3 of 6 (50%) Democrats and 0 of 6 (0%) Republicans. Two (1D, 1R) women statewide candidates were unsuccessful.

  • Nan Whaley (D) won the Democratic nomination for Governor. She will challenge incumbent Governor Mike DeWine (R) in November. If successful, she will be the first woman elected as governor of Ohio. Just one woman has served as governor of Ohio: Nancy Hollister (R), who was lieutenant governor, served as governor for 11 days (December 31, 1998 – January 11, 1999) when her predecessor took a U.S. Senate seat and the successor had not yet been sworn in.
  • Whaley selected Cheryl Stephens (D) as her running mate and potential lieutenant governor. There has never been a case in the U.S. where a woman governor and lieutenant governor have served at the same time.
  • Chelsea Clark (D) won the Democratic nomination for secretary of state. She will challenge incumbent Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R).
  • Both Clark and Stephens – who identify as Black – have the potential to make history as the first Democratic Black woman elected statewide, as the only Black woman to hold statewide office in Ohio to date – Jennette Bradley (R) – was a Republican.

For primary results summaries from other states and full results, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, see CAWP’s Election Watch.

CAWP Staff