Footnotes

Footnotes

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%).

As of Wednesday morning, women are 3 (2D, 1R) of 8 (37.5%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Connecticut, including 2 of 5 (40%) Democrats and 1 of 3 (33.3%) Republicans already selected. There is one Republican woman candidate competing for the Republican nomination in a contest still too close to call in Connecticut’s 1st congressional district.

  • 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.
  • At least 1 (1R) woman will run as a challenger to an incumbent 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) is currently leading in the Republican primary in Connecticut’s 1st congressional district, but the race is still too close to call. If successful, she will challenge incumbent Representative John Larson (D) in a general election contest that is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 3 (2D, 1R) women already 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%).

As of Wednesday morning, women are 6 (5D, 1R) of 15 (40%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Minnesota, including 5 of 8 (62.5%) Democrats and 1 of 7 (14.3%) Republicans already selected. There are no women candidates competing for the Republican nomination in one contest that remains still too close to call in Minnesota’s 4th congressional district. 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. One Republican woman candidate remains in a race that is still too close to call for Attorney General.

  • 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 Wednesday morning, 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.

What You Need to Know About the Record Numbers of Women Candidates in 2020

 

With filing deadlines passed in all 50 states, the Center for American Women and Politics can confirm that more women are running for U.S. House and U.S. Senate in 2020 than ever. Putting these aggregate numbers into context offers additional insights into women’s candidacies over time, across parties, as well as clarifying racial and ethnic diversity in the candidate pool.

Here are some key take-aways from this year’s totals.

A record number of women are running for the U.S. House and Senate this year.

The 2018 election broke nearly all records in women’s major-party candidacies for the U.S. House and Senate. That year, 476 women ran for the U.S. House, up from the previous high of 299 (+59.2%). In 2020, 583 women are candidates for the U.S. House, a 22.5% increase from the record set two years ago.

The shattering of previous records was entirely due to Democratic women in 2018 House contests; 356 Democratic women ran for the U.S. House in 2018, compared to a previous high of 189 (+88.4%), while the 120 Republican women candidates fell short of their record high (133, -9.8%). In contrast, Republican women are responsible for the jump in women’s House candidacies in 2020. This year, 227 Republican women are candidates for U.S. House, a 70.7% rise from the previous high. Democratic women matched their previous record for women’s candidacies; 356 Democratic women are running for U.S. House in 2020.

Both Democratic and Republican women broke records for U.S. Senate major-party candidacies in 2018, though by smaller margins than they did in House contests. In 2018, 53 women ran for the U.S. Senate, up from the previous high of 40 (+32.5%). In 2020, 60 women are candidates for the U.S. Senate, a 13.2% increase from the record set in the last election. Unlike in the U.S. House, both Democratic and Republican women contributed to the record-breaking Senate numbers in 2018; 31 Democratic women ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018, up from a previous high of 27 (+14.8%), while the 22 Republican women candidates broke their previous record of 17 (+29.4%). In 2020, six more Democratic women are running for the U.S. Senate than did in 2018 (+19.4%) and the Republican women have surpassed their record for senate candidacies by one (23, +4.5%).

Changes in the number of women congressional candidates were larger from 2016 to 2018 than they are between 2018 and 2020, though Republican women’s House candidacies have seen the largest swing over the past two election cycles.

One of the most notable facts of the last election cycle was that Democratic women doubled their candidacies from 2016 to 2018. This year, Republican women House candidates have neared, but not matched, that jump; Republican women’s House candidacies increased from 120 to 227 (+89.2%) between 2018 and 2020. But because there was no increase in Democratic women House candidates from 2018 to 2020, the overall increase in women’s House candidacies is notably smaller this year (+22.5%) than it was between 2016 and 2018 (+74.4%).

The increase in women’s U.S. Senate candidacies is also smaller from 2018 to 2020 (+13.2%) than it was between 2016 and 2018 (+32.5%). In 2018, the number of Republican women senate candidates (22) was especially larger than the previous cycle (13, +69.2%), while that number only increased by one (+4.5%) between 2018 and 2020. Democratic women’s rise in senate candidacies is not notably different between the 2018 cycle (+14.8% from 2016) and this year’s election (+19.4% from 2018).

Despite breaking records, women remain underrepresented among all candidates for elected office in 2020.

Women are more than 50% of the U.S. population, but remain less than a third of all major-party candidates for congressional and statewide executive offices in the 2020 election. More specifically, women are 29.1% of all U.S. House candidates and 23.9% of U.S. Senate candidates in 2020. In addition, while many SEEO offices around the country are not up for election this year, women make up just 25.6% of candidates for these offices in 2020.

 

Consistent with previous elections, women are better represented among Democratic than Republican candidates in 2020. Women are 37.9% of Democratic House candidates, 31.1% of Democratic Senate candidates, and 32.3% of Democratic candidates for statewide executive offices. In contrast, women are 21.3% of Republican House candidates, 17.4% of Republican Senate Candidates, and 20.6% of Republican candidates for statewide executive offices.

While women continue to fall short of parity with men in candidate pools, they are a greater percentage of all candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate this year than they were in 2018. Republican women are also a larger percentage of their party’s House and Senate candidates in 2020 than in 2018 and Democratic women are a larger proportion of their party’s House, but not Senate, candidates this year.

A record number of women of color are running for congressional office in 2020, and women of color are also a larger percentage of all women running for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate this year.

At least 248 women of color – including women who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander (API), Black, Latina, Middle Eastern or North African (MENA), Native American, and/or multiracial – are running for the U.S. House in 2020. This number is higher than any other election year. The numbers of Democratic (162) and Republican (86) women of color House candidates are also record highs. As of August 5th, racial identification is unavailable for 12 (6D, 6R) women House candidates (from 2004 to 2020, unavailable cases range from 0 to 14).

Women of color are also a larger percentage of all women running for the U.S. House this year than in any other year since this data has been collected. Women of color are at least 42.5% of all women, 45.5% of Democratic women, and 37.9% of Republican women House candidates in 2020.

At least 18 women of color are running for the U.S. Senate in 2020. This number is higher than any other year since CAWP collected comprehensive race data on Senate candidates in 2004. The numbers of Democratic (13) and Republican (5) women of color Senate candidates are also higher in 2020 than in any other year in our records. As of August 5th, racial identification is unavailable for 2 (1D, 1R) women Senate candidates (from 2004 to 2020, unavailable cases range from 0 to 6).

Women of color are at least 30% of all women running for the U.S. Senate in 2020, which matches 2016. The percentage of women of color among Republican women Senate candidates is greater in 2020 (21.7%) than in any other year since this data has been collected. Finally women of color are 35.1% of Democratic women Senate candidates in 2020, a smaller percentage than in 2016 (44.4%).

These aggregate counts provide a broad view of the growing racial and ethnic diversity among women running for congressional office, but are inadequate in capturing the full range of racial and ethnic representation among women congressional candidates. That is why CAWP has conducted independent and in-depth analyses of Asian or Pacific Islander (API), Black, Latina, Middle Eastern or North African (MENA), and Native American women candidates in 2020 to provide more detail on women candidates and nominees within specific racial and ethnic groups to provide historical context and trends that do not lump women of color into a single group.

Even in a record year for Republican women candidates, Democratic women are the majority of women running for the U.S. House in 2020.

It is important to celebrate the rise in and record number of Republican women’s candidacies in 2020, especially due to the persistent underrepresentation of Republican women in the U.S. Congress. But there remains a partisan gap in women’s candidacies. In 2020, 61.1% of women candidates for the U.S. House are Democrats. While that gap was larger in 2018 (74.8% of women House candidates were Democrats), this year’s party break mirrors what we saw more than a decade ago. Republican women have only closed this gap more – and near completely – in one cycle since 2004; in 2010, 49.1% of women candidates for the U.S. House were Republicans.

This data point merits additional context. According to the most recent Pew Research Center survey on party identification, about 38% of women identify as Republicans. If we assess representativeness in the candidate pool by party identification breaks by gender among the public, the numbers above indicate a less concerning story for Republican women. These data do not, however, resolve the persistent underrepresentation of women in either party’s total pool of candidates.

As noted above, the number of Republican women of color candidates for the U.S. House is greater in 2020 than in previous years. In 2020, 34.7% of the women of color House candidates are Republicans, a larger percentage of women House candidates than any other year in which CAWP has comprehensive race data. We will continue to analyze Democratic and Republican’s women’s representation among women of color, women overall, and all candidates as primaries conclude to see if the party gap closes further, expands, or stays the same among U.S. House nominees.

What to Watch

Now that all filing deadlines have passed, we will continue to monitor how women candidates fare in primary elections nationwide. We will assess women’s comparative success in both the primary and general elections to men, by party, and among women in different racial and ethnic groups. We will also continue to track records in women’s nominations and officeholding and watch to see if the rise in candidacies this year will result in new highs for women in elected office in 2020. Stay tuned to CAWP’s Election Watch for all of the latest numbers and analysis, and follow us on Twitter for real-time results and context for this year’s campaigns.

 

Tennessee Primary Sets Up Likely Republican Woman Pick-Up in U.S. House

 

Congressional primaries were held on Thursday in Tennessee. 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:

  • Diana Harshbarger won the Republican nomination and Blair Walsingham won the Democratic nomination in Tennessee’s only open-seat contest for the U.S. House in the 1st congressional district. This all-woman contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report, indicating a likely pick-up by a Republican woman in November. No matter the result, Tennessee – which currently has no women House members – is all but guaranteed to have a woman in its nine-member U.S. House delegation in 2021.
  • All 5 (4D, 1R) other women winners in Tennessee’s congressional primaries will run in contests that strongly favor their opponents. Among them, 3 (2D, 1R) women House nominees challenged the same incumbents in 2018 and lost by at least 30 points.

U.S. Senate

Marquita Bradshaw won the Democratic nomination for Tennessee’s open-seat U.S. Senate contest. She will face Republican nominee Bill Hagerty in November. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R) became the first woman to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate in 2019. She is not up for re-election this year. If successful in November, Bradshaw – who is Black – would be the first woman of color to be elected statewide and to serve in the U.S. Congress from Tennessee.

U.S. House

No women currently serve in Tennessee’s nine-member delegation to the U.S. House.

Women are 6 (4D, 2R) of 17 (35.3%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Tennessee, including 4 of 9 (44.4%) Democrats and 2 of 8 (25%) Republicans. Another 3 (2D, 1R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids in Tennessee.

  • Diana Harshbarger won the Republican nomination and Blair Walsingham won the Democratic nomination in Tennessee’s only open-seat contest for the U.S. House in the 1st congressional district. This all-woman contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report, indicating a likely pick-up by a Republican woman in November.
  • 4 (3D, 1R) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November in contests that currently favor their opponents.
    • Renee Hoyos (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Tim Burchett (R) in Tennessee’s 2nd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. Hoyos was the Democratic nominee in 2018, when she lost to Burchett by 32 points.
    • Meg Gorman (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R) in Tennessee’s 3rd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Erika Stotts Pearson (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative David Kustoff (R) in Tennessee’s 8th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. Pearson was the Democratic nominee in 2018, when she lost to Kustoff by 37 points.
    • Charlotte Bergmann (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary to challenge incumbent Representative Steve Cohen (D) in Tennessee’s 9th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report. Bergmann was the Republican nominee in 2018, when she lost to Cohen by 61 points.

Women on the VP Short List are Qualified to Serve Today or Tomorrow

 

“There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow.”

These words from former Vice President Joe Biden made headlines back in March when he solemnly pledged to pick a woman as his running mate during the Democratic primary debates. The promise elicited mixed feelings from viewers – some were pleased, others felt slighted – but it once again put gender at the center of the conversation on political credentials. Research has demonstrated that women are held to higher standards by voters and question their own qualifications to run at all, leading to significant differences between the quality of women and men officeholders. Not surprisingly, women increase the quality of representation within institutions, and the high standards they set up the ante for their male colleagues. While this may be good for constituents who benefit from better candidates and representatives, it means women are often working harder just to end up in the same position as men.

This phenomena has been called running a dual campaign by CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar. Women must prove themselves to be not only the best candidate for the job — but also that they can win. This juxtaposition reminds us of the false myth of campaigns as meritocracies. If women are the most qualified, why isn’t that enough? See all of Hillary Clinton 2016. At the same time, women are required to prove themselves again and again, and due to gender norms, they must do so without appearing as though they actually want the job. While women must have experience and talents in abundance, they cannot have the ambition to match. Knowing that these higher standards exist and the tightrope qualified women must walk, we’re going to take on some of this additional labor and provide the receipts proving the extensive and diverse qualifications of the women on Biden’s short list.

Here we explore the veepstakes through the lens of prior experience. Women in politics do not always share the same professional backgrounds as their male counterparts. Because of gender segregation in the workplace, women’s occupations and social networks have not always been a natural trajectory for a career in public office. These differences have meant women have had to make the case for their qualifications and work very hard for the same campaign support men receive. The women on Biden’s shortlist come from a variety of backgrounds, each one bringing vital skills to the table.

Some of this year’s vice presidential contenders boast executive experience. These include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. All three have garnered national attention in recent months, each drawing on her unique qualifications to lead a robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bottoms, a former attorney and Atlanta city councilwoman, has implemented a controversial mask mandate in all public spaces and is encouraging residents to stay home rather than rushing the reopening of businesses. Accustomed to standing her ground against Republicans, Bottoms has not hesitated to challenge Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on his fast-tracked recovery plan and unwillingness to heed the recommendations of medical experts. Lujan Grisham, the country’s first Democratic Latina governor, has drawn on her extensive knowledge of public health policy to control the outbreak. The former health care consultant, congresswoman, and New Mexico Secretary of Health took swift and decisive action to mitigate the crisis that is now paying off: epidemiologist Helen Wearing remarked that “hundreds of lives were saved because of what the state did early on, and that’s using conservative estimates.” Whitmer has spearheaded an aggressive containment strategy in Michigan, one of the hardest hit states, which has been lauded by progressives and condemned by conservatives. The former state legislator and Ingham County prosecutor implemented some of the nation’s strictest stay-at-home orders, which were well-intentioned but sparked right-wing rebellion. 

Despite the significant challenges they have all faced in keeping the virus under control, these women have demonstrated executive experience during a crisis, which is essential for a vice president in 2020. Perhaps the most important criteria for a vice president is readiness should the moment require them to step into the presidency. Historically, women have held few executive posts like governorships that would demonstrate the kind of individualistic, buck-stops-here leadership many consider essential for a president. These women have those bona fides. But, as we know, having the goods is not always enough.

Stacey Abrams, who almost became the governor of Georgia in 2018, is also a potential candidate. Her resume is similar to that of President Barack Obama, who was a community organizer and state legislator prior to his U.S. Senate tenure and ultimately successful presidential campaign. Abrams narrowly lost her statewide election to Republican Brian Kemp amid concerns about voter suppression. Abrams, a former state legislator, attorney, and college professor, has since risen to national prominence as a full-time voting rights activist. She has started two grassroots organizations – Fair Fight and Fair Count – to ensure that all people are counted in the Census and that their voices are heard at the ballot box. Some have questioned her readiness for the vice presidency, as the highest title she has held to date is minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. Others are inspired by the zeal she could bring to the ticket. While she does not presently hold elected office, she has become an important Democratic voice on the preservation of democratic values. Will Biden consider her potential, like Obama and many men like him have been afforded, or require a more lengthy record to see her worth? If we are to expand the pool of potential political leaders beyond what has long been the status quo, we have to not only credit men and women equally for their accomplishments, but also expand the types and sources of qualifications we seek and value in candidates and officeholders.

Susan Rice, who served as the national security advisor and ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, is reportedly on the top of Biden’s short list.  Rice would be an unexpected selection, as she has never held elected office, and her name recognition is likely much lower than that of other women being considered. Her foreign policy chops, however, might be an asset when it comes to repairing our alliances and reestablishing the U.S.’s global reputation. They are also especially important for women, who are less likely than men to be viewed as holding foreign policy and defense expertise. Joe Biden brought foreign policy experience to the ticket when he ran as vice president with then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who did not have extensive international experience. Rice’s background then may be a redundancy this time around with Biden at the top of the ticket.  

Different from executive posts or ambassadorships, legislative experience may also be an asset for a vice president. Vice President Joe Biden, as a former long-serving senator, played a key role in policymaking under President Obama — including during the adoption of his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Biden is considering a handful of members of Congress from both chambers. California Senator Kamala Harris is seen by many as the favorite. Harris ran a strong campaign for president this cycle and has amassed a national following since her election to the Senate in 2016.  She is also, though, a former prosecutor whose controversial record, which has been decried by many in the Black community, could be a liability at this moment in history. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who also ran for president this year, is another possibility. Warren, a former professor and economist, is a staunch progressive. While some find her divisive, her experience handling bankruptcy and establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) might prove useful in helping the country rebound from economic depression. Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth has received renewed attention in recent weeks, after Fox News host Tucker Carlson accused her of hating America. An Iraq War veteran and double amputee with a moderate track record, Duckworth’s valiant military service and legislative experience certainly qualify her to be commander-in-chief and challenge biases that women are less prepared to handle issues of national defense. They also place her in direct opposition to President Trump, whom she calls “President Bone Spurs” in reference to his avoidance of military service. Running and winning Senate campaigns are made especially difficult for women, so these women have certainly proved their wider appeal.  

The Biden campaign is also considering women members of the U.S. House. Representative Val Demings (FL-10) appears on just about every speculated version of Biden’s shortlist. Demings rose to national prominence when she was selected as one of the House’s impeachment managers in December 2019. Prior to her run for Congress, Demings served as the chief of the Orlando Police Department, a role which may now be met with scrutiny but may also uniquely position her to fundamentally change policing in America — a top priority among Democratic voters. Representative Karen Bass (CA-37), the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, is one more potential pick. Formerly the speaker of the California Assembly, Bass is a progressive with a history of working across the aisle to pass bipartisan legislation. Her deft leadership on the House’s most recent police reform bill would make her a prudent choice.

All but two of the women listed here have served in state or federal legislatures. Working within raced and gendered legislative institutions designed to marginalize women like them, Whitmer, Abrams, and Bass excelled in their state legislative roles, rising through the ranks to hold leadership positions.[1] Their ability to garner the support of their party colleagues suggests they are adept at networking, bringing factions together, and strategic decision making like where to assign bills and which committees to place members on for the best outcomes. This is consistent with what both women state legislators and women in Congress report themselves; in previous CAWP research, they note that they see themselves and are seen by their colleagues as coalition builders and responsible for bringing new voices to the process. These qualities may be important for the next vice president of the United States and are just as important as experience garnered through executive positions. As the presidential campaign continues to define leadership as masculine and individualistic, highlighting legislative experience where one is part of a collective required to work with others to accomplish goals helps to dilute political norms centering masculinity. Whether in Congress or state legislatures, women have gained valuable collaborative experience to bring to the executive branch.

Americans are aware of the higher standards to which we hold women candidates. Several talented Democratic women ran for president this cycle, but none of them were ultimately able to secure the party’s nomination for the top spot despite their incredible resumes. While some may view the selection of a woman vice president as a consolation prize, it is a step toward better representation of women. In declaring he would choose a woman as VP, Biden has given us all another chance to examine the different standards to which we hold women and men. Aware of the frequent demand for women – versus men – to prove themselves as capable, here we have provided evidence of potential women nominees’ extensive and valuable experience.

There have always been women qualified to serve. The question is — when will those qualifications be deemed enough? Today or tomorrow?

 

[1] CAWP data shows that nationally women serve in leadership positions proportionally to their presence in legislative bodies. However, women leaders are not evenly distributed across states, with some states not having any women in legislative leadership positions.

Kansas Sweep and Missouri Upset Make for a Good Primary Night for Democratic Women


Congressional and statewide primaries were held on Tuesday in five states: Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. 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:

  • Cori Bush (D) defeated incumbent Representative Lacy Clay (D) in the Democratic primary. She is favored to win in November and would become the first woman of color and first Black woman to represent Missouri in the U.S. Congress. Including Bush, women are 5 of 6 Democratic House nominees in Missouri this year.  
  • All five Democratic congressional (U.S. House and U.S. Senate) nominees from Kansas are women, including U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier (D) and U.S. House candidate Michelle De La Isla (D, KS-02), who are nominees in competitive open-seat contests this fall. In Kansas’ 3rd congressional district, Representative Sharice Davids (D) will be challenged by Amanda Adkins (R) in a competitive all-woman contest.
  • Hiral Tipirneni (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge Representative David Schweikert (R) in Arizona’s 6th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report. If successful, Tipirneni would be the first woman of color to represent Arizona in the U.S. Congress.
  • Lisa McClain (R) won the Republican nomination and Kimberly Bizon (D) won the Democratic nomination to set up an all-woman general-election contest in Michigan’s 10th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
  • As of yesterday, there is now a new record for all-woman general-election congressional contests. In 2020, there are 38 such contests, including 34 House races and 3 Senate races. The previous record for all-woman congressional races was 33, set in 2018. See here for additional information about all-woman races in 2020 and historically.

Arizona

Kansas

Michigan

Missouri

Washington

 

Arizona

U.S. Senate

On Tuesday, Senator Martha McSally (R) secured the Republican nomination for November’s general-election U.S. Senate contest in Arizona. The winner will serve the remainder of the term of former Senator John McCain (R), which will end in 2022. McSally will be challenged by Democratic nominee Mark Kelly. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.

Arizona is one of 6 states currently represented by two women in the U.S. Senate. Both women – Senators McSally (R) and Sinema (D) – have served in the U.S. Senate since 2019. 


U.S. House

Women are currently 2 (1D, 1R) of 9 members of the Arizona delegation to the U.S. House (22.2%).

Women are 6 (4D, 2R) of 18 (33.3%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Arizona, including 4 of 9 (44.4%) Democrats and 2 of 9 (22.2%) Republicans. 4 (3D, 1R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • Both (1D, 1R) of Arizona’s incumbent women House members are nominees for re-election.
    • Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D) won the Democratic nomination for re-election in Arizona’s 2nd congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Representative Debbie Lesko (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary for re-election in Arizona’s 8th congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
  • 3 (3D, 1R) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November, and 1 (1R) woman challenger remains in a contest that is too close to call.
    • Hiral Tipirneni (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge Representative David Schweikert (R) in Arizona’s 6th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report. Tipirneni was the House Democratic nominee in Arizona’s 8th congressional district in 2018, where she was defeated by incumbent Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ).
    • Tiffany Shedd (R) won the Democratic nomination to challenge Representative Tom O'Halleran (D) in Arizona's 1st congressional district. This contest is current rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report. Shedd also ran, but was unsuccessful, for the Republican nomination in this district in 2018.
    • 2 (2D) more Democratic women – Delina DiSanto (D, AZ-04) and Joan Green (D, AZ-05) – are nominees in districts that strongly favor the Republican incumbents.

Of the 6 (4D, 4R) women who are already selected as major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Arizona, 1 (D) is a woman of color. Hiral Tipirneni (D, AZ-06), who is South Asian, would be the first woman of color to represent Arizona in the U.S. Congress.


Statewide Elected Executive Offices

Women currently hold 5 (3D, 2R) of 11 statewide elected executive offices in Arizona (45.5%). Just three of those offices – three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission – are up for election in 2020.

Women are 3 (2D, 1R) of 5 major-party nominees for corporation commission.

  • Incumbent Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson (R) has advanced to the general election. She was first appointed to her position in 2019.
  • 2 (2D) more women – Shea Stanfield (D) and Anna Tovar (D) – will compete for the open seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Of the 3 (2D, 1R) women nominees for statewide elected executive office, 2 (1D, 1R) are Latinas: Lea Marquez Peterson (R) and Anna Tovar (D). Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson (R) is the first and only Latina serving in statewide executive office in Arizona.

 

Kansas

U.S. Senate

On Tuesday, Kansas State Senator Barbara Bollier (D) secured the Democratic nomination for Kansas’ open-seat U.S. Senate contest. Bollier, who changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in December 2018, will face Roger Marshall (R) in November. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Two (2R) women have served in the U.S. Senate from Kansas: Sheila Frahm (1996) and Nancy Kassebaum (1978-1997). No woman has served in the U.S. Senate from Kansas since 1997.


U.S. House

There is currently 1 (1D) woman in the four-member Kansas delegation to the U.S. House (25%).

Women are 5 (4D, 1R) of 8 (62.5%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Kansas, including 4 of 4 (100%) Democrats and 1 of 4 (25%) Republicans. There are 3 (1D, 2R) women candidates who were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • Incumbent Representative Sharice Davids (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary in Kansas’ 3rd congressional district. She will be challenged by Amanda Adkins (R) in an all-woman contest in November. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
  • Kali Barnett won the Democratic nomination for the open U.S. House seat in Kansas’ 1st congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
  • Michelle de la Isla (D), Mayor of Topeka, won the Democratic nomination in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district. This contest was rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report going into Tuesday’s primary election in which incumbent Representative Steve Watkins (R) was defeated by a primary challenger.
  • 2 (1D, 1R) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November.
    • Amanda Adkins (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Sharice Davids (D) in an all-woman contest in Kansas’ 3rd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Laura Lombard (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Ron Estes (R) in Kansas’ 4th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 5 (4D, 1R) women selected as major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Kansas, 2 (2D) are women of color, including Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS01) – who is Native American – and Michelle De La Isla (D-KS02) – who identifies as Latina, Black, and white.

 

Michigan

U.S. Senate

No women candidates filed to challenge incumbent Senator Gary Peters (D) this year. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D), who is the only woman who has represented Michigan in the U.S. Senate (2001 to present), is not up for re-election this year.


U.S. House

Women are currently 5 (5D) of 14 members of the Michigan delegation to the U.S. House (35.7%).

Women are 9 (8D, 1R) of 28 (32.1%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Michigan, including 8 of 14 (57.1%) Democrats and 1 of 14 (7.1%) Republicans. 11 (4D, 7R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • All 5 (5D) incumbent women representatives have secured nomination for re-election this year, including 2 (2D) incumbent women in competitive general-election contests.
    • Representative Haley Stevens (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 11th congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Representative Elissa Slotkin (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 8th congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
  • 3 (2D, 1R) women are nominees in open-seat House contests.
    • Hillary Scholten (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 3rd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Kimberly Bizon (D) won the Democratic nomination and Lisa McClain (R) won the Republican nomination to set up an all-woman general-election contest in Michigan’s 10th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
  • 1 (1D) woman will run as a challenger in November. 
    • Gretchen Driskell (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Tim Walberg (R) in Michigan’s 7th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 9 (8D, 1R) women who are already selected as major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Michigan, 2 (2D) are women of color. Incumbent Representative Brenda Lawrence (D) is Black and incumbent Representative Rashida Tlaib is Middle Eastern. 

 

Missouri

U.S. House

Currently, women are 2 (2R) of 8 members of the Missouri delegation to the U.S. House (25%).

Women are 9 (7D, 2R) of 16 (56.3%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Missouri, including 7 of 8 (87.5%) Democrats and 2 of 8 (25%) Republicans. 8 (3D, 5R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • Both (2R) incumbent representatives are nominees for re-election this year.
    • Representative Ann Wagner was unopposed in the Republican primary in Missouri’s 2nd congressional district. She will be challenged by Democratic nominee Jill Schupp (D) in an all-woman contest. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Representative Vicki Hartzler (R) won the Republican nomination for re-election in Missouri’s 4th congressional district. She will face Democratic nominee Lindsey Simmons (D) in an all-woman contest that is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
  • Cori Bush (D) defeated incumbent Representative Lacy Clay (D) in the Democratic primary in Missouri’s 1st congressional district. She will now face Anthony Rogers in an open-seat contest in November in a district currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report. If elected in November, Bush will be the first Black woman and the first woman of color to represent Missouri in the U.S. Congress. Bush is a rebound candidate who ran for and lost the Democratic nomination in MO-01 by nearly 20 points in the 2018 election.  
  • 6 (6D) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November.
    • Jill Schupp (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Ann Wagner (R) in Missouri’s 2nd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Lindsey Simmons (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Vicki Hartzler (R) in Missouri’s 4th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Teresa Montseny (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Billy Long (R) in Missouri’s 7th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Kathy Ellis (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Jason Smith (R) in Missouri’s 8th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 9 (7D, 2R) women who are already selected as major-party nominees for the U.S. House from Missouri, 3 (3D) are women of color, including Cori Bush (D, MO-01) and Gena Ross (D, MO-06) – who are Black – and Teresa Montseny (D, MO-07) – who identifies as multiracial. No woman of color has represented Missouri in the U.S. Congress.


Statewide Executive Offices

Women currently hold 1 of 6 statewide elected executive offices in Missouri (16.7%). All but one statewide office is up for election this year.

Women are 3 (3D) of 10 (30%) major-party nominees for statewide executive offices in Missouri, including 3 of 5 (60%) Democrats and 0 of 5 (0%) Republicans.

  • Current State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) won the Democratic nomination for Governor of Missouri. She will challenge incumbent Governor Mike Parson (R) in a contest currently rated as “Likely Republican” by Cook Political Report. If elected, Galloway would be the first woman governor of Missouri.
  • Alissia Canady (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe (R).
  • Vicki Englund (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick (R) this fall. If successful, she would be the third woman to serve as Missouri State Treasurer.

Of the 3 (3D) women nominees for statewide executive office, Alissia Canady (D) – who is Black – is the only woman of color. No woman of color has ever been elected statewide in Missouri.

 

Washington

U.S. House

Currently, women are 5 (3D, 2R) of 10 members of the Washington delegation to the U.S. House (50%).

As of August 9th, women are 9 (6D, 3R) of 19 (47.4%) of U.S House candidates that have already advanced to the general election in Washington, including 6 of 11 (54.5%) Democrats and 3 of 8 (37.5%) Republicans who have already advanced. There is one Republican woman candidate in a race still too close to call. Thus far, 6 (3D, 3R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids for the U.S. House.

  • All 5 (3D, 2R) incumbent women representatives advanced to the general election for re-election this year.
    • Representative Suzan DelBene (D) advanced to the general election in her bid for re-election in Washington’s 1st congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.  
    • Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) advanced to the general election in her bid for re-election in Washington’s 3rd congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report. Herrera Beutler is currently the only Republican woman of color in the U.S. House.
    • Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) advanced to the general election in her bid for re-election in Washington’s 5th congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Representative Pramila Jayapal (D) advanced to the general election in her bid for re-election in Washington’s 7th congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
    • Representative Kim Schrier (D) advanced to the general election in her bid for re-election in Washington’s 8th congressional district. Her re-election contest is currently rated as “Likely Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
  • Marilyn Strickland (D) and Beth Doglio (D) will advance to the general election in the open-seat contest in Washington’s 10th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report. 
  • At least 2 (1D, 1R) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November. Another woman challenger remains in a contest that is too close to call.
    • Carolyn Long (D) advanced to the general election to challenge incumbent Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) in Washington’s 3rd congressional district. Long was Herrera Beutler’s general-election opponent in 2018 and lost by 5.4 points. This contest is currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Elizabeth Kreiselmaier (R) advanced to the general election to challenge incumbent Representative Derek Kilmer (D) in Washington’s 6th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report.

Of the 8 (5D, 3R) women House candidates who have already advanced to the general election in Washington, 3 (2D, 1R) are women of color, including current Representatives Jayapal (D, WA-07) – who is South Asian - and Herrera Beutler (R, WA-03) – who is Latina. If elected in November, Marilyn Strickland (D, WA-10) would be the first Black woman to represent Washington in the U.S. Congress.


Statewide Elected Executive Offices

Women currently hold 3 (2D, 1R) of 9 statewide elected executive offices in Washington (33.3%). All offices are up for election this year.

As of August 9th, women are 3 (2D, 1R) of 14 (21.4%) statewide executive candidates who have already advanced to the general election, including 2 of 8 (25%) Democrats and 1 of 6 (16.7%) Republicans who have advanced to the general election. There are 4 (1D, 2R, 1NP) women candidates in contests still too close to call.

  • Incumbent Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R) will be challenged by Gael Tarleton (D) in an all-woman contest for her re-election in November.
  • State Auditor Pat McCarthy (D) advanced to the general election in her bid for re-election.
  • Commissioner of Lands Hilary Franz (D) leads in a contest that has not been decided.

Black Women Candidates in 2020

 

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) has tracked women’s political candidacies for three decades. Since 2004, CAWP has collected women candidates’ racial identification, relying primarily on candidate self-identification. This year, we are reporting this data pre-election and in greater depth than we have before, providing summary information on the increasing diversity among women candidates in addition to specific analyses of Asian or Pacific Islander (API), Black, Middle Eastern or North African (MENA), Latina, and Native American women running for the U.S. Congress and statewide executive offices.

 The data below include all major-party women candidates who identify as Black alone or Black in combination with other races; multiracial women will be included in counts and analyses for each group with which they identify. There remain a small number of candidates in CAWP’s database for whom we were unable to determine racial identification. Those women are included here to calculate percentages of all women candidates and are alluded to when we say “at least” before reported counts of Black women.

A record number of Black women are running for congressional office in 2020.

At least 130 (98D, 32R) Black women are congressional candidates in 2020, including 117 (89D, 28R) Black women candidates for the U.S. House and 13 (9D, 4R) Black women candidates for the U.S. Senate. These numbers include all Black women filed candidates, including those who may have already lost their primary elections. They do not include candidates for non-voting offices in the U.S. House. This is the largest number of Black women candidates who have run for the House or Senate, overall and in both parties, in a single election year.

A record number of Black women are already nominees for the U.S. House in 2020 with primaries still to be held in 14 states.

With primaries to be held in 14 more states, 44 (35D, 9R) Black women have already won major-party nominations for the U.S. House. This number of Black women House nominees is already greater than the previous high (40), which was set in 2018.

As of August 4th, no Black women are nominees for the U.S. Senate. This is a site of persistent underrepresentation for Black women. In all of U.S. history, just 2 (2D) Black women – Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL, 1993-1999) and Kamala Harris (D-CA, 2017-Present) – have been U.S. Senators.

Black women are a larger percentage of all women running for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate this year.

Women candidates who identify as Black alone or in combination with other race(s) are at least 20.1% of all women running for the U.S. House in 2020. This is a slightly greater level of representation than in any other election year since 2004. Black women are at least 25% of Democratic and 12.3% of Republican women House candidates, which are larger percentages than in recent cycles, but not record highs.

Black women are 21.7% of all women candidates for the U.S. Senate this year. They are 24.3% of Democratic women Senate candidates, which is not a record high, and 17.4% of Republican women Senate candidates, which is a larger percentage than in any other year in CAWP’s data.

These levels of representation are important indicators of the racial diversity among women candidates, but even more telling will be the racial diversity among women congressional nominees and winners in 2020.

Black women remain underrepresented in the full candidate pools for U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

Recent U.S. Census estimates note that women who identify as Black alone or in combination with other races represent about 7.6% of the U.S. population. In 2020, women in this group are 5.8% of all candidates for the U.S. House. Black women are better represented among Democratic (9.5%) than Republican (2.6%) House candidates this year.

Black women are 5.2% of all major-party U.S. Senate candidates in 2020. As in U.S. House contests, they are better represented among Democrats (7.6%) than Republicans (3%). 

There are opportunities for Black women to make history down-ballot this year.

In 2018, five new Black women were elected to the U.S. House, including three – Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) – who were the first women of color to represent their states in Congress. Four of five freshman Black women members of the 116th Congress (2019-2021) were elected in majority-white districts, challenging doubts about Black women’s viability outside of majority-minority electorates and expanding the types of districts from which Black congresswomen are elected. Two of these congresswomen – Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL) – were among the women members who flipped House seats from Republican to Democrat in 2018; both will again face competitive elections this fall.

The 2020 election offers more opportunities for Black women to make history and disrupt prevailing trends. Cori Bush defeated long-time Representative Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary in Missouri’s 1st congressional district. As the Democratic nominee in a district favoring her party, Bush is favored to become the first Black woman and first woman of color to represent Missouri in the U.S. Congress. Candace Valenzuela, who is the Democratic nominee in Texas’ 24th congressional district, has the potential to become the first Afro-Latina in Congress. Her open-seat contest is currently deemed a toss-up by Cook Political Report. Valenzuela’s district is also majority-white, signaling an opportunity to further cement the electability of Black women – and women of color more broadly – among majority-white electorates. Likewise, Mayor Michelle De La Isla – who identifies as Latina, Black, and white – is the Democratic nominee in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district, which is majority-white. Her opponent defeated incumbent Representative Steve Watkins (R) to create an open-seat general election contest in a district already deemed competitive in November.

Black women are already U.S. House nominees in seven of 31 states – Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina – that have never sent a Black woman to Congress. Black women are also running in forthcoming or to-be-decided primary contests in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Washington – all states that have never sent a Black woman to Congress. In an open-seat contest in Washington’s 10th congressional district, two Black women are running for the Democratic nomination in a district that strongly favors their party. That district is also majority-white in its population.

Finally, two Black women – Angela Stanton-King (R) and Georgia State Senator Nikema Williams (D) – will compete for the U.S. House seat in Georgia’s 5th congressional district upon the death of Representative John Lewis (D). Senator Williams is strongly favored to win in what has been a reliably Democratic district.

Latina Candidates in 2020

 

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) has tracked women’s political candidacies for three decades. Since 2004, CAWP has collected women candidates’ racial identification, relying primarily on candidate self-identification. This year, we are reporting this data pre-election and in greater depth than we have before, providing summary information on the increasing diversity among women candidates in addition to specific analyses of Asian or Pacific Islander (API), Black, Middle Eastern or North African (MENA), Latina, and Native American women running for the U.S. Congress and statewide executive offices.

The data below include all major-party women candidates who identify as Latina alone or Latina in combination with other races; multiracial women will be included in counts and analyses for each group with which they identify. There remain a small number of candidates in CAWP’s database for whom we were unable to determine racial identification. Those women are included here to calculate percentages of all women candidates and are alluded to when we say “at least” before reported counts of Latinas.

A record number of Latinas are running for congressional office in 2020.

At least 75 (41D, 34R) Latinas are congressional candidates in 2020, including 72 (39D, 33R) Latina candidates for the U.S. House and 3 (2D, 1R) Latina candidates for the U.S. Senate. These numbers include all Latina filed candidates, including those who may have already lost their primary elections. They do not include candidates for non-voting offices in the U.S. House. This is the largest number of Latinas who have run for the House or Senate, overall and in both parties, in a single election year.

A record number of Latinas are already nominees for the U.S. House in 2020 with primaries still to be held in 14 states.

With primaries to be held in 14 more states, 27 (17D, 10R) Latinas have already won major-party nominations for the U.S. House. This number of Latina House nominees is already seven more than in 2018, when 20 (16D, 4R) Latinas were House nominees.

As of August 1st, Latinas are no longer in the running for U.S. Senate nominations in 2020. This is a site of persistent underrepresentation for Latinas. In 2017, Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) became the first and remains the only Latina to serve in the U.S. Senate. Three Latinas were unsuccessful in U.S. Senate primary elections in 2020.

The percentage of all women running for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate who are Latinas is not a record high this year overall or for women within either major party.

Women candidates who identify as Latina alone or in combination with other race(s) are at least 12.3% of all women running for the U.S. House in 2020. Latinas are at least 11% of Democratic and 14.5% of Republican women House candidates, which are percentages similar to recent cycles.

Latinas are 5% (3 of 60) of all women candidates for the U.S. Senate this year. They are 5.4% (2 of 37 of Democratic women Senate candidates and 4.3% (1 of 23) of Republican women Senate candidates, which are not record highs.

These levels of representation are important indicators of the racial diversity among women candidates, but even more telling will be the racial diversity among women congressional nominees and winners in 2020.

Latinas remain underrepresented in the full candidate pools for U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

Recent U.S. Census estimates note that women who identify as Hispanic alone or in combination with other races represent about 9.1% of the U.S. population. In 2020, women in this group are 3.6% of all candidates for the U.S. House. Latinas are slightly better represented among Democratic (4.2%) than Republican (3.1%) House candidates this year.

There are opportunities for Latinas to make history down-ballot this year.

In 2018, five new Latinas were elected to the U.S. House, including two – Representatives Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) – who were the first Latinas to represent Texas in Congress. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) defeated a Democratic incumbent to become one of the youngest women to ever serve in the U.S. House. Two of these congresswomen – Representatives Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) and Debbie Murcarsel Powell (D-FL) – were among the women members who flipped House seats from Republican to Democrat in 2018; both will again face competitive elections this fall.

Two other Latina candidates made history in election 2018. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) became the first Democratic woman of color governor in the U.S. and the first Democratic woman governor of New Mexico. Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez (R-IL) became the first Latina elected statewide in Florida.

The 2020 election offers more opportunities for Latinas to make history. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM) won the Democratic nomination for the open seat in New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district. Cook Political Report currently rates this contest in her favor (“Solid Democratic”). Three more non-incumbent Latina nominees are running in contests deemed toss-ups by Cook Political Report. Christina Hale (D-IN) would become the first Latina to represent Indiana in Congress if successful in the open-seat contest in Indiana’s 5th congressional district. Candace Valenzuela (D-TX), the Democratic nominee in Texas’ 24th congressional district, has the potential to become the first Afro-Latina in Congress. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) – who identifies as Latina and white – would become the first Republican woman of color to represent New York in Congress if she is successful in challenging incumbent Representative Max Rose (D-NY) in New York’s 11th congressional district.

San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez (D-CA) is facing another Democratic woman in the open-seat general election contest to replace Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) in California’s 53rd congressional district. Mayor Michelle De La Isla – who identifies as Latina, Black, and white – is the Democratic nominee in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district. Her opponent defeated incumbent Representative Steve Watkins (R) to create an open-seat general election contest in a district already deemed competitive in November.

Latinas are already U.S. House nominees in four of 43 states – Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and  Kansas – that have never sent a Latina to Congress. Latinas are also running in forthcoming primary contests or runoff elections in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Tennessee – all states that have never sent a Latina to Congress.

Asian or Pacific Islander (API) and Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) Women Candidates in 2020

 

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) has tracked women’s political candidacies for three decades. Since 2004, CAWP has collected women candidates’ racial identification, relying primarily on candidate self-identification. This year, we are reporting this data pre-election and in greater depth than we have before, providing summary information on the increasing diversity among women candidates in addition to specific analyses of Asian or Pacific Islander (API), Black, Middle Eastern or North African (MENA), Latina, and Native American women running for the U.S. Congress and statewide executive offices.  

The data below include all women candidates who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander (API) alone or in combination with other races, or Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) alone or in combination with other races. We report both groups here because CAWP only began including MENA as an option for candidate racial identification at the conclusion of election 2018. Before then, women candidates who identified as MENA would have been most likely to select Asian or white among CAWP’s choices, which aligned with the U.S. Census race categories. This shift should be taken into account when considering trends among these groups of women and explain why data for MENA women candidates is only reported for 2020.

Multiracial women are included in counts and analyses for each group with which they identify. In this analysis, we will make clear where women identify as both Asian and MENA. There remain a small number of candidates in CAWP’s database for whom we were unable to determine racial identification. Those women are included here to calculate percentages of all women candidates and are alluded to when we say “at least” before reported counts of API and MENA women.

A record number of Asian or Pacific Islander women are running for congressional office in 2020.

At least 40 (25D, 15R) Asian or Pacific Islander (API) women are congressional candidates in 2020; all are candidates for the U.S. House. These numbers include all API women filed candidates, including those who may have already lost their primary elections. They do not include candidates for non-voting offices in the U.S. House. This is the largest number of API women who have run for the U.S. Congress overall and the U.S. House alone in a single election year. The number of Republican House women candidates who identify as API is higher this year than any other cycle. With primaries to be held in 14 more states, 13 (7D, 6R) API Islander women have already won major-party nominations for the U.S. House. In 2018, 17 (11D, 6R) API women were House nominees.

At least 16 (11D, 5R) women candidates for the U.S. House identify as Middle Eastern or North African (MENA), including 2 (1D, 1R) women candidates who identify as both Asian and MENA.

As of August 5th, 4 (3D, 1R) MENA women are nominees for the U.S. House, including 1 (1R) woman who identifies as both Asian and MENA. There are no MENA women candidates for the U.S. Senate in 2020 and no MENA women have ever served in the U.S. Senate.

The percentage of all women running for the U.S. House who are Asian or Pacific Islanders is slightly higher this year overall than any other year since this data has been available, but it is not a record high for women within either major party.

Women candidates who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander (API) alone or in combination with other race(s) are at least 6.9% of all women running for the U.S. House in 2020. API women are at least 7% of Democratic and 6.6% of Republican women House candidates, which are percentages similar to recent cycles.

Women candidates who identify as Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) alone or in combination with other race(s) (including Asian) are at least 2.7% of all women running for the U.S. House in 2020. MENA women are at least 3.1% of Democratic and 2.2% of Republican women House candidates.

These levels of representation are important indicators of the racial diversity among women candidates, but even more telling will be the racial diversity among women congressional nominees and winners in 2020.

Asian or Pacific Islander remain underrepresented in the full candidate pools for U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

Recent U.S. Census estimates note that women who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander (API) alone or in combination with other races represent between 3.2% and 3.9% of the U.S. population. In 2020, women in this group are 2% of all candidates for the U.S. House. API women are slightly better represented among Democratic (2.7%) than Republican (1.4%) House candidates this year. No API women are candidates for the U.S. Senate in 2020.

There is no U.S. Census comparison for the Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) population. Still, MENA women candidates represent at least 0.8% of all major-party U.S. House candidates in 2020. They are 1.2% of Democratic and 0.5% of Republican House candidates this year.

There are opportunities for Asian or Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern or North African women to make history down-ballot this year.

In 2018, 2 (2D) new women who identify as Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) were elected to the U.S. House: Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) – who is Palestinean – and Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) – who is Lebanese. State Treasurer Kimberly Yee (R-AZ) also became the first Asian woman elected statewide in Arizona in 2018.

The 2020 election offers more opportunities for Asian or Pacific Islander (API) and MENA women to make history. In Pennsylvania, Nina Ahmad (D) – who identifies as Bangladeshi – is the Democratic nominee for State Auditor. If successful in November, she would be the first woman of color to be elected statewide in Pennsylvania and the first woman to serve as State Auditor in that state.

API women are already U.S. House nominees in four of 44 states – Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia – that have never sent an API woman to Congress. Among these women candidates, Gina Ortiz Jones (D-TX) is currently favored in a competitive open-seat contest in Texas’ 23rd congressional district. Jones was the Democratic nominee in the same district in 2018, losing to incumbent Representative Will Hurd (R-TX) by less than one point. Hiral Tipirneni (D) is the Democratic nominee in Arizona’s 6th congressional district, where she will challenge incumbent Representative David Schweikert (R). Cook Political Report currently rates this general election contest as “Lean Republican.” Tipirneni was a Democratic nominee for the U.S. House in 2018, when she was defeated in her challenge to incumbent Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) in Arizona’s 8th congressional district.

Of the 4 (3D, 1R) Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) women nominees thus far in election 2020, 3 (2D, 1R) are running as challengers in districts that currently favor incumbents, but – if successful – they could become the first MENA women to represent Texas or New York in Congress. MENA women candidates remain in primary elections in two states –Massachusetts and Minnesota – that have never sent a MENA woman to Congress.

Native American Women Candidates in 2020

 

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) has tracked women’s political candidacies for three decades. Since 2004, CAWP has collected women candidates’ racial identification, relying primarily on candidate self-identification. This year, we are reporting this data pre-election and in greater depth than we have before, providing summary information on the increasing diversity among women candidates in addition to specific analyses of Asian or Pacific Islander (API), Black, Middle Eastern or North African (MENA), Latina, and Native American women running for the U.S. Congress and statewide executive offices.  

The data below include all women candidates who identify as Native American alone or Native American in combination with other races; multiracial women will be included in counts and analyses for each group with which they identify. There remain a small number of candidates in CAWP’s database for whom we were unable to determine racial identification. Those women are included here to calculate percentages of all women candidates and are alluded to when we say “at least” before reported counts of Native American women.

A record number of Native American women are running for congressional office in 2020.

There are 18 (9D, 9R) women congressional candidates in 2020 who identify as Native American alone or Native American in combination with other races, including 15 (7D, 8R) Native American women candidates for the U.S. House and 3 (2D, 1R) Native American women candidates for the U.S. Senate. These numbers include all Native American women filed candidates, including those who may have already lost their primary elections. They do not include candidates for non-voting offices in the U.S. House. This is the largest number of Native American women who have run for the House or Senate, overall and in both parties, in any single election cycle.

A record number of Native American women are nominees for the U.S. House in 2020 with primaries still to be held in 14 states.

With primaries to be held in 14 more states, 4 (3D, 2R) Native American women have already won major-party nominations for the U.S. House. This is already two more than in 2018, when 2 (2D) Native American women were House nominees.

Paulette Jordan (D-ID), who became the first Native American woman nominee for governor in the U.S. in 2018, is the only Native American woman nominee for the U.S. Senate this year. She is the only Native American woman nominee for the U.S. Senate since CAWP began collecting race data in 2004.

Native American women are a larger percentage of all women running for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate this year.

Women candidates who identify as Native American alone or in combination with other race(s) are at least 2.6% of all women running for the U.S. House in 2020. Native American women are at least 2% of Democratic and 3.5% of Republican women House candidates. Between 2004 – when CAWP began comprehensive collection of candidates’ racial identification – and 2018, no Republican women candidates had self-identified as Native American.

Native American women are 5% (3 of 60) of all women candidates for the U.S. Senate this year. They are 5.4% (2 of 37) of Democratic women Senate candidates and 4.3% (1 of 23) of Republican women Senate candidates.  

These levels of representation are important indicators of the racial diversity among women candidates, but even more telling will be the racial diversity among women congressional nominees and winners in 2020.

Native American women remain underrepresented in the full candidate pool for U.S. House.

Recent U.S. Census estimates note that women who identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native alone or in combination with other races represent about 1.1% of the U.S. population. In 2020, women in this group are 0.7% of all candidates for the U.S. House, with nearly equal representation among Democratic and Republican House candidates.

Native American women are 1.2% of all major-party U.S. Senate candidates in 2020. They are 1.7% of Democratic and 0.8% of Republican Senate candidates this year. 

There are opportunities for Native American women to make history down-ballot this year.

In 2018, Representatives Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Sharice Davids (D-KS) became the first Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress. Both will run for re-election this year, with Davids in a more competitive contest this fall. Paulette Jordan (D-ID) also became the first Native American woman nominee for governor in the U.S. in 2018, ultimately losing her bid. Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan (D-MN) became the first Native American woman elected statewide in Minnesota in 2018 and is currently the only Native American woman holding statewide elected executive office in the U.S.

The 2020 election offers more opportunities for Native American women to make history. Apart from the 2 (2D) women House incumbents, 7 (6D, 1R) Native American women congressional candidates are still in the running in primary or general election contests. Most are running as challengers to incumbents favored to win re-election, which presents obstacles to achieving new milestones this year.

 

Fill Those Empty Pedestals with Pioneering American Political Women

This summer, statues and memorials of former presidents and public leaders have toppled or been removed in a reckoning with the nation’s profound legacy of racism. As the country grapples with that legacy, the time is ripe for an examination of whom we choose to memorialize. In particular, we must look for those who have made important contributions to our nation and are often missing from the historical accounting, especially women and people of color.

Last month, CAWP released our Women Elected Officials Database, a tool with the most complete collection of information anywhere in the world about women officeholders in the United States. It includes women officeholders nationwide, their officeholding history, party identification, and, when available, information about their race and ethnicity. While CAWP has long kept an officeholder database, this is the first time it is available in a searchable, online format for public access. It contains entries for more than eleven thousand women officeholders dating back to 1893 when women first served in statewide elected executive office. Open availability of these data helps all of us understand more thoroughly women's role in our country's political history and creates opportunities for new research and programs addressing the lack of parity in women's representation. It is also a wonderful resource for exploring women who deserve a statue or other memorial in their honor.

When CAWP started counting women officeholders in 1971, there were only 351 women serving in state legislatures nationwide out of over 7,600 seats. To put this into perspective, if these women had met up in New Hampshire’s statehouse, they wouldn’t have filled all the seats of its 400-member House of Representatives, while the men serving would have needed a stadium.  Women held only twelve of the 535 seats in U.S. Congress in 1971. That particular class of women members of Congress would leave a big footprint on the history of women’s public leadership in numerous ways. Representatives Shirley Chisholm and Margaret Chase Smith, formidable as members of Congress, helped add cracks to the “marble ceiling” by running for the presidency during their political careers. Representative Margaret Heckler, the first woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, later became one of the co-founders of the bipartisan Congresswoman’s Caucus (eventually the Congressional Women’s Caucus). And two of these women, Representatives Patsy Mink and Edith Green, would go on to author Title IX, which changed the landscape for generations of women students and athletes.

Some of these names are relatively well-known, but reaching further back, how many have heard the name Eva Kelly Bowring, the first woman to serve in the Senate from Nebraska? Appointed to the Senate in 1954 upon the death of her predecessor, she initially rebuffed the offer from the governor before reversing course, noting that “when a job is offered to you, take it. Men can refuse but women are increasingly important in political life.”[i] (Side fact, people in Nebraska might know her name: Bowring was an avid rancher, and after her death, her ranch was donated to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, becoming Bowring Ranch State Historical Park.) Other women who have played important roles in public life early in our nation’s history include Soledad Chacón, the first woman and first Latina to win statewide elected executive office, becoming New Mexico’s secretary of state in 1930. In her time in office, Chacón served as acting governor while the governor was out of the state, the first woman in the country’s history to assume the responsibilities of that office. Chacón also went on to serve in the New Mexico legislature.

1917 is the year the first woman served in the U.S. Congress — Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana. Out of curiosity, I looked into the database to see how many women were serving in state legislatures at the time. There were twelve, and all were from five Western states — Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Washington. Two of those women were the first women to serve in the Montana House of Representatives, Democrat Margaret Smith Hathaway and Republican Emma S. Ingalls. Both women were ardent suffragists and worked to promote women’s rights and disenfranchised groups. In what was presumably a high compliment for its time, a male legislator said of Hathaway, “She’s the biggest man in the House.”[ii] Representative Rosa Jane McKay of Arizona was best known for passing a bill enacting a minimum wage for women (a law that was unfortunately struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1923).[iii]

Intrigued by Montana’s early numbers, I looked into the state more deeply and discovered Dolly Cusker Akers, the first Native American to serve in its legislature and the only woman to serve during her term from 1933-34. She won election with almost 100% of the vote in a county where whites outnumbered Native Americans by 10 to 1. Throughout her career, Cusker Akers lobbied extensively on tribal issues and was most proud of her work on behalf of the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act. [iv] Other history-makers include Minnie Buckingham Harper, who was appointed to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1928, becoming the first Black woman to serve in a state legislature. Crystal Dreda Bird Fauset, the first Black woman elected to a state legislature, served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1939-40. A long-time civic leader and civil rights activist, Bird Fauset also served as an advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She gave over 200 lectures about race relations on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee, and her words resonate today: “The types of questions asked [me] give clear evidence that white students, both high school and college, think of the American Negro as being not quite human, think of him as being more or less of an alien, associating him with an African rather than American background, and that whatever advantages and privileges he enjoys are due solely to the magnanimity of white people. They do not seem to realize that these advantages and privileges are due him as a native-born American citizen and as a normal human being — at least as normal as the attitude of the white world permits him to be."[v]

These are just a small handful of examples of the women who have played valuable roles in public life throughout the course of the nation’s history. By providing open, accessible data on women’s representation, it is our hope that researchers will have an easier time conducting research and analyses, that practitioners working towards parity for women will have better context and understanding about the trends in women’s representation in their states and nationwide, and that everyone will be inspired to dig more deeply into the history of women who have served in public office. Let’s start erecting monuments to and naming bridges, highways, and buildings after some of these pioneering women leaders.

 

[i] "Eva Kelly Bowring," in Women in Congress, 1917-2006. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of History & Preservation, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006. Accessed July 9, 2020: https://history.house.gov/People/Detail/9701
[ii] Montana Historical Society Women’s History Matters. ”After Suffrage: Women Politicians at the Montana Capitol.” Accessed July 23, 2020: http://montanawomenshistory.org/after-suffrage-women-politicians-at-the-montana-capitol/
[iii] State of Arizona Research Library. “Meet Rosa McKay: Champion of Women’s Rights & Minimum Wage.” Accessed July 9, 2020: https://statelibraryofarizona.wordpress.com/2018/11/02/meet-rosa-mckay-champion-of-womens-rights-minimum-wage/
[iv] Montana Historical Society Women’s History Matters. “’I am a very necessary evil’: The Political Career of Dolly Smith Cusker Akers.” Accessed July 9, 2020: http://montanawomenshistory.org/dolly-smith-cusker-akers-champion-to-some-foe-to-others/
[v]American Friends Service Committee. “Lifting the Curtain: Crystal Bird Fauset.” Accessed July 23, 2020:  https://www.afsc.org/story/lifting-curtain-crystal-bird-fauset

Pages