Results from primaries and special elections in ME, NV, ND, SC, AK, and TX: More New Records for Women in Congress from Special Election

LAST UPDATED: 6.19.22 12pm ET (final results)

Four primaries were held on Tuesday in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina. In addition, a special election was held in Texas’ 34th congressional district to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of U.S. Representative Filemon Vela. Another special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of U.S. Representative Don Young was held on June 11 in Alaska’s at-large congressional district. Full context about women in the 2022 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:

  • Republican women continue to find success in special elections to the U.S. House.
    • Mayra Flores (R) was elected in the special election to fill the vacancy created by U.S. Representative Filemon Vela’s (D) resignation in TX-34. She will serve the remainder of Vela’s term through January 3, 2023 and is also the Republican nominee for the newly-redrawn TX-34 in November’s general election for a full term. Flores is the first Republican Latina elected to Congress from Texas. Upon her swearing in to the U.S. House, new records will be broken for:
      • the number of women in Congress (147)
      • the number of Republican women in Congress (41)
      • the number of women in the U.S. House (123)
      • the number of Republican women in the U.S. House (33)
      • the number of Latinas in Congress (15)
      • the number of Latinas in the U.S. House (14)
        These counts do not include four women, including one Latina, who serve as non-voting delegates.
  • On the same day that Flores won this special election, another special election winner – Connie Conway (R, CA-22) – was sworn in to the U.S. House, marking new highs for women’s and Republican women’s congressional and U.S. House representation. Conway won her special election on June 7 and will serve until January 3, 2023. She is not a candidate for a full term in November.
  • While results are still being tabulated, former governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin (R) is the current leader in the special primary election held on June 11 for Alaska’s at-large congressional district, from which the top four vote-getters will advance to an August 16 general election (which will use ranked-choice voting). Palin will also compete on the August 16 ballot to advance to the November 2022 election for a full term for the same seat starting in January 2023.  
  • Women congressional incumbents face competitive contests for re-election in Nevada and South Carolina, while one woman candidate seeks to end North Dakota’s lack of women in its congressional delegation.
    • Incumbent Representative Nancy Mace (R, SC-01) defeated Trump-endorsed Katie Arrington in a competitive Republican primary election. She will be challenged by Annie Andrews (D) in an all-woman general election contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by  Cook Political Report.
    • Both Democratic women incumbents from Nevada – Representatives Dina Titus (NV-01) and Susie Lee (NV-03) – are in general election contests currently rated as Democratic toss ups by Cook Political Report. Lee (D) will be challenged by April Becker (R) in an all-woman general election contest.
    • Incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) won the Democratic nomination for re-election and will compete in a general election contest currently rated as a toss up by Cook Political Report. Cortez Masto is the first and only Latina to serve in the U.S. Senate.
    • Katrina Christiansen (D-ND) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) in a general election contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. North Dakota is one of 12 states with no women serving in the U.S. Congress.
  • Women were unsuccessful in their bids for governor in Nevada and South Carolina, while incumbent Governor Janet Mills (D-ME) was unopposed in the Democratic primary. She will face former Governor Paul LePage (R-ME) in a general election contest for re-election currently rated as “Lean Democrat” by Cook Political Report.
  • In general election contests for other statewide elective executive offices, multiple women have the potential to make history.
    • In Nevada, Sigal Chattah (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Attorney General Aaron Ford in November. No Republican woman has served as attorney general of Nevada. If elected, she would be the first Middle Eastern/North African woman to serve in statewide elective executive office in Nevada.
    • In South Carolina, Rosemounda Butler (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Secretary of State Mark Hammond (R) in the general election. If elected, Butler would be the first Black woman elected statewide in South Carolina.
    • Women are 3 of 4 (75%) nominees for North Dakota public service commissioner, including both women incumbents – Sheri Haugen-Hoffart (R) and Julie Fedorchak (R) – and Melanie Moniz (D), who – if elected – would be the first Native American woman elected statewide in North Dakota.
  • Ellen Spiegel won the Democratic nomination for the open-seat contest for Nevada state controller, a position currently held by Democrat Catherine Byrne.

Maine

Nevada

North Dakota

South Carolina

Texas (Special)

Alaska (Special)

Maine

U.S. House

Women currently hold 1 (1D) of 2 (50%) seats in the Maine delegation to the U.S. House. Three (1D, 2R) women have ever served in the U.S. House from Maine.

In 2022, 2 (1D, 1R) women filed as candidates for U.S. House seats in Maine.

Based on primary election results, women are 1 of 4 (25%) major-party nominees for U.S. House in Maine, including 1 of 2 (50%) Democrats and 0 of 2 (0%) Republicans. One (1R) woman candidate for the U.S. House was unsuccessful.

  • Incumbent U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary election in ME-01 and will run for re-election in a general election contest currently rated as “Solid Democrat” by Cook Political Report.

Governor

Current Governor Janet Mills (D) is the first and only woman governor of Maine. She was first elected in 2018. Governor is the only statewide elective executive office in Maine.

Governor Mills (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face former Governor Paul LePage (R) in a general election contest currently rated as “Lean Democrat” by Cook Political Report. LePage previously served two terms as governor but was unable to run for a third consecutive term. He is eligible to run again this year because it is not consecutive to his prior service. 

 

Nevada

U.S. Senate

Nevada is one of four states that is currently represented by two women in the U.S. Senate (the others are MN, NH, and WA). Current U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Jacky Rosen (D) are the only 2 (2D) women to have served in the U.S. Senate from Nevada. Cortez Masto is also the first Latina to serve in the U.S. Senate. She was first elected in 2016. Rosen was first elected in 2018.

Three (2D, 1R) women filed as candidates for the U.S. Senate in Nevada.

Incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) won the Democratic nomination for re-election and will compete in a general election contest currently rated as a toss up by Cook Political Report.

U.S. House

Women currently hold 2 (2D) of 4 (50%) seats in the Nevada delegation to the U.S. House. Five (4D, 1R) women have served in the U.S. House from Nevada.

Ten (4D, 6R) women filed as candidates for U.S. House seats in Nevada in 2022.

Based on primary election results, women are 4 of 8 (50%) major-party nominees for U.S. House in Nevada, including 3 of 4 (75%) Democrats and 1 of 4 (25%) Republicans. Six (1D, 5R) women candidates for the U.S. House were unsuccessful.

  • Both (2D) incumbent women are nominees for re-election in November.
    • Incumbent Representative Dina Titus (D) will run in NV-01, a contest currently rated as a Democratic toss up by Cook Political Report.
    • Incumbent Representative Susie Lee will run in NV-03, a contest currently rated as a Democratic toss up by Cook Political Report.
  • 2 (1D, 1R) women won nominations to challenge incumbents in November. 
    • Elizabeth Mercedes Krause (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Representative Mark Amodei (R) in NV-02, a contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • April Becker (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D) in NV-03, an all-woman contest currently rated as a Democratic toss up by Cook Political Report.

Of the 4 (3D, 1R) women nominees already selected for U.S. House in Nevada, 1 (1D) – Krause (NV-02) – is Native American, and 3 (2D, 1R)  – Titus (NV-01), Lee (NV-03), and Becker (NV-03)  – are white. All women who have served in the U.S. House from Nevada to date are white.

Statewide Elective Executive Office

Women currently hold 3 (2D, 1R) of 6 (50%) statewide elective executive offices in Nevada. Fourteen (8D, 6R) women have served in statewide elective executive offices in Nevada, including 2 (2D) women who have served in more than one statewide executive office. No woman has ever served as governor of Nevada.

All statewide elective executive offices are up for election in Nevada this year.

Ten (5D, 5R) women filed as candidates for six statewide elective executive offices up for election in Nevada 2022, including 1 (1R) woman who filed as a candidate for governor.

Just 1 (1D) of 3 incumbent women in statewide executive office are running for re-election in 2022. Incumbent Comptroller Catherine Byrne (D) is not running for re-election and incumbent Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske (R) is term limited.

Based on primary election results, women are 4 of 12 (33.3%) major-party nominees for statewide elective executive offices in Nevada, including 2 of 6 (33.3%) Democrats and 2 of 6 (33.3%) Republicans.  Six (3D, 3R) women statewide elective executive candidates were unsuccessful.

  • 1 (1D) woman incumbent won nomination for re-election in November.
    • Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Lisa Cano Burkhead (D) is running to keep her seat; she was appointed to this office in 2021.
  • 2 (2R) women won nominations to challenge incumbents in November. 
    • Sigal Chattah (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Attorney General Aaron Ford in November. No Republican woman has served as attorney general of Nevada. If elected, she would be the first Middle Eastern/North African woman to serve in statewide elective executive office in Nevada.
    • Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Treasurer Zach Conine (D) in November.
  • 1 (1D) woman won a nomination in an open-seat contest for state controller.
    • Ellen Spiegel won the Democratic nomination for state controller.

Of the 4 (2D, 2R) women nominees already selected for statewide elective executive office in Nevada, 1 (1D) – Burkhead (lieutenant governor) – is Latina, 1 (1R) – Chattah (attorney general) – is Middle Eastern/North African (MENA), and 2 (1D, 1R) – Fiore (treasurer) and Spiegel (controller) – are white. No MENA woman has served in statewide elective executive office in Nevada.

 

North Dakota

North Dakota is one of 12 states with no women serving in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. Senate

Two (2D) women have previously served in the U.S. Senate from North Dakota. Upon the death of her husband, Jocelyn Burdick (D) was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy in his position until a special election was held. She served from September 12, 1992 to December 14, 1992. Heidi Heitkamp (D) was elected in 2012 and served one full term from 2013 to 2019.

One (1D) woman – Katrina Christiansen – filed as a candidate to challenge incumbent Senator John Hoeven (R). She won the Democratic nomination to challenge Hoeven in a general election contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

U.S. House

No woman has ever served in the U.S. House from North Dakota and no women filed as major-party candidates for the U.S. House in North Dakota in 2022, ensuring that North Dakota will remain a state that has never sent a woman to the U.S. House.

Statewide Elective Executive Office

Women currently hold 3 (2D, 1NP) of 13 (23.1%) statewide elective executive offices in North Dakota. Seventeen (6D, 11R, 1NP) women have served in statewide elective executive offices in North Dakota, including 2 (1D, 1R) women who have served in more than one statewide executive office. No woman has ever served as governor of North Dakota.

Six of 13 statewide elective executive offices in North Dakota are up for election in 2022. There is no gubernatorial election in North Dakota this year.

Three (1D, 2R) women filed as candidates for six statewide elective executive offices up for election in North Dakota in 2022.

Based on primary election results, women are 3 of 11 (27.3%) major-party nominees for statewide elective executive offices in North Dakota, including 1 of 5 (20%) Democrats and 2 of 6 (33.3%) Republicans.

  • Incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler (R) is not up for election this year.
  • Two (2R) women incumbents – Public Service Commissioners Sheri Haugen-Hoffart (R) and Julie Fedorchak (R) – were unopposed in their primary elections and will run for re-election in November.
  • Melanie Moniz (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Public Service Commissioner Julie Fredorchak in an all-woman general election contest. Moniz is Native American and, if elected, would be the first Native American woman elected statewide in North Dakota.

Of the 3 (1D, 2R) women nominees for statewide elective executive office in North Dakota, 1 (1D) – Moniz (public service commissioner) – is Native American and 2 (2R) – Haugen-Hoffart (public service commissioner) and Fedorchak (public service commissioner) – are white. All women who have served in statewide elective executive office in North Dakota to date are white.

 

South Carolina

U.S. Senate

No woman has ever served in the U.S. Senate from South Carolina.

Two (2D) women candidates – Catherine Fleming Bruce and Krystle Simmons Matthews – have advanced to a June 28 runoff primary election for the Democratic nomination to  challenge incumbent Senator Tim Scott (R) in a contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Both women  would be the first woman and the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate from South Carolina. No Black women currently serve in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. House

Women currently hold 1 of 7 (14.3%) seats in the South Carolina delegation to the U.S. House. Six (5D, 1R) women have served in the U.S. House from South Carolina.

Seven (2D, 5R) women filed as candidates for the U.S. House in South Carolina in 2022. This count includes one woman – Lynz Piper-Loomis (R, SC-01) – who withdrew before the primary but whose name was still on the ballot.

Based on primary election results, women are 3 of 13 (23.1%) major-party nominees for U.S. House in South Carolina, including 2 of 6 (33.3%) Democrats and 1 of 7 (14.3%) Republicans. Three (3R) women candidates for the U.S. House were unsuccessful, and 1 (1R) withdrew before the primary, but her name appeared on the ballot. 

  • Incumbent U.S. Representative Nancy Mace (R) won the Republican nomination for a re-election contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
  • 2 (2D) women won nominations to challenge incumbents in November. 
    • Annie Andrews (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Nancy Mace (R) in SC-01, an all-woman contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by  Cook Political Report.
    • Evangeline Hundley (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Ralph Norman (R) in SC-05, a contest currently rated as  “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 3 (2D, 1R) women nominees for U.S. House in South Carolina, 1 (1D) – Hundley (SC-05) – is Black and 2 (1D, 1R) – Mace (SC-01) and Andrews (SC-01) – are white. All women who have served in Congress from South Carolina are white.

Statewide Elective Executive Office

Women currently hold 2 (2D) of 8 (25%) statewide elective executive offices in South Carolina. Six (4D, 2R) women have served in statewide elective executive offices in South Carolina, including 1 (1R) woman who has served as governor.

All statewide elective executive offices in South Carolina are up for election in 2022, but lieutenant governor candidates are not selected until after the primary election.

Eight (3D, 5R) women filed as candidates for seven statewide elective executive offices on the primary ballot in South Carolina 2022, including 1 (1D) woman who filed as a candidate for governor.

Based on primary election results, women are 2 of 9 (22.2%) major-party nominees already selected for statewide elective executive offices in South Carolina, including 2 of 3 (66.7%) Democrats and 0 of 6 (0%) Republicans. Women are 2 of 2 (100%) candidates advancing to the June 28, 2022 primary runoff election, both Republicans. At least 4 (1D, 3R) women statewide elective executive candidates were unsuccessful.

  • Incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Molly Spearman (R) did not run for re-election.
  • Upon Governor Henry McMaster’s (R) successful nomination for re-election, incumbent Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette (R) will now join the general election ticket for re-election in November.   
  • 1 (1D) woman won a nomination to challenge an incumbent in November. 
    • Rosemounda Butler (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Secretary of State Mark Hammond (R) in the general election. If elected, Butler would be the first Black woman elected statewide in South Carolina.
  • 2 (2R) women have advanced to a runoff election in an open-seat contest.
    • Ellen Weaver (R) and Kathy Maness (R) have advanced to the June 28 runoff election for the Republican nomination for superintendent of public instruction. The winner will face Lisa Ellis (D), the Democratic nominee. 

 

Texas – Special General Election in the 34th Congressional District

In the special election to fill a vacancy by former U.S. Representative Filemon Vela (D), who resigned in March 2022, Mayra Flores (R) was successful. She will serve the remainder of Vela’s term through January 3, 2023. Flores is the first Republican Latina elected to Congress from Texas.

Flores also won the Republican nomination for the open-seat general election contest for a full term in November. She will face U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D) in a contest with newly-drawn district lines (D+17 according to FiveThirtyEight). This contest is currently rated as a Democratic Toss Up by Cook Political Report.

Upon Flores swearing into the U.S. House, new records will be broken for:

  • the number of women in Congress (147)
  • the number of Republican women in Congress (41)
  • the number of women in the U.S. House (123)
  • the number of Republican women in the U.S. House (33)
  • the number of Latinas in Congress (15)
  • the number of Latinas in the U.S. House (14)

These counts do not include four women, including one Latina, who serve as non-voting delegates.

On the same day that Flores won this special election, another special election winner – Connie Conway (R, CA-22) – was sworn into the U.S. House, marking new highs for women’s and Republican women’s congressional and U.S. House representation. Conway won her special election on June 7 and will serve until January 3, 2023. She is not a candidate for a full term in November.

 

Alaska – Special Primary Election in At-Large U.S. House District

Alaska held a special primary election on June 11 to fill the vacancy created by the death of U.S. Representative Don Young (R) in March 2022. While results are still being tabulated, former governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin (R) is 1 (1R) of 3 candidates who have already advanced to an August 16 general election (which will use ranked-choice voting). Palin will also compete on the August 16 ballot to advance to the November 2022 election for a full term for the same seat starting in January 2023.

In addition to Palin, former State Representative Mary Peltola (D) and Tara Sweeney (R) – a former Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs – are among the top vote-getters seeking to be the fourth and final candidate to advance to the special general election. Both women are Alaska Native and, if successful, would be the first Alaska Native woman to serve in Congress.

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

CAWP Staff