Final Results from the 2021 Elections

50th Anniversary of the Center for American Women and Politics

With all results from the 2021 elections having been determined, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, releases final results for women in this year’s election contests. 

Large City Mayoral Races

  • Atlanta, GA: Felicia Moore (D) advanced out of the initial round of voting in the city’s mayoral election, but she lost in the subsequent run-off election. Moore identifies as Black.
  • Boston, MA: Michelle Wu (D) became the first woman, the first Asian woman, and first person of color elected as mayor of Boston. Kim Janey, the former acting mayor, was the first woman and person of color to lead the city.
  • Durham, NC: Elaine O’Neal (D) became the first woman of color and first Black woman elected mayor of Durham.

Ohio Special Elections

  • Cuyahoga County Council Member Shontel Brown (D) won the special election in Ohio’s 11th congressional district. Upon her swearing in, the number of women in Congress reached 144, matching the previous record high. The number of Black women in Congress is 25, one short of the previous high.
  • State Representative Allison Russo (D) lost the special election in Ohio’s 15th congressional district.

Florida Special Election

  • Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the special Democratic primary for Florida’s 20th congressional district. She is favored to win in the general election in this heavily-Democratic district. Cherfilus-McCormick identifies as Black.

New Jersey

  • Sheila Oliver (D) won reelection as New Jersey's lieutenant governor. This position has been held by a woman since its inception in 2010.
  • 41 (27D, 14R) women won races for New Jersey Legislature seats, beating the record for women elected to the legislature (36, set in 2013). Once the next legislature is seated, this will also be a record high for women concurrently serving (38, set in 2019).
  • In New Jersey Senate races, 10 (7D, 3R) women were elected. This falls short of both the record for women elected to the Senate (11, set in 2011) and the record for women concurrently serving (12, set in 2017).
  • In New Jersey General Assembly races, 31 (20D, 11R) women were elected, beating the record for women elected to the Assembly (26, set in 2009). Once the legislature is seated, this will also be a record high for women concurrently serving in the Assembly (28, set in 2009).
  • Three Asian or Pacific Islander women, Democrats Ellen Park, Shama Haider, and Sadaf Jaffer, were elected to the New Jersey General Assembly this year, becoming the first API women elected to the legislature in a state where more than 10% of the population identifies as API. Park and Haider ran in New Jersey’s 37th legislative district while Jaffer ran in the 16th.

Virginia

  • Republican Winsome Sears became the first woman of color elected statewide in Virginia, as well as the first woman and first woman of color elected to the state’s lieutenant governorship. Sears, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, identifies as Black.
  • 35 (24D, 11R) women won races for Virginia House of Delegates seats. Once they are seated, they will beat the previous record for women in the House of Delegates (31, set in 2021 and the current number).
  • The Virginia Senate did not have elections this year.
  • With 11 women currently serving in the Virginia Senate and 35 women winning House of Delegates races this year, women will set a new record in 2022 for seats in the Virginia legislature at 46. The previous record, set in 2021 and the current number, was 42.

Additional Context

  • New Jersey
    • Currently, 37 women serve in the New Jersey Legislature, holding 30.8% of seats, which puts New Jersey in the 25th spot in our state rankings for women’s representation in state legislatures. Women hold 11 seats in the state Senate (27.5% of all seats) and 26 seats in the Assembly (32.5% of all seats). Learn more about women in New Jersey politics currently and historically at CAWP’s New Jersey State Fact Sheet.
    • A record number of women won primary elections in New Jersey Legislature races this year, with 84 (up from the previous record of 77 in 2017). A new record was also set for General Assembly races, with 65 (up from the previous record of 60 in 2019), but the number of women primary victors in state Senate races, 19, falls short of the record of 25, set in 2017.
  • Virginia
    • Currently, 42 women serve in the Virginia General Assembly, holding 30% of all seats, which puts Virginia in the 28th spot in our state rankings for women’s representation in state legislatures. Women hold 11 seats in the Virginia Senate (27.5% of all seats) and 31 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates (31% of all seats). Learn more about women in Virginia politics currently and historically at CAWP’s Virginia State Fact Sheet.
    • A record number of women won primaries in Virginia House of Delegates races this year, with 72 women emerging from primaries (up from 62, set in 2019). Without Virginia Senate elections this year, the state did not surpass its overall record for women primary winners in 2021. That record, 85, was set in 2019 when elections were held for both chambers.
  • Mayors of Large Cities
    • 32 women currently serve as mayor in cities among the top 100 American cities by population. Of those, 8 are Black women, 3 are Latina, and 4 are Asian or Pacific Islander women. Learn more here.

Contact

Daniel De Simone: ddesimone@eagleton.rugters.edu; 760.703.0948