Special Election Will Yield New Record for Women in Congress; June 7th Primaries Create More Opportunities for Women

Election Results from the Center for American Women and Politics

50th Years of CAWP

Primary elections were held yesterday in California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, is tracking results for women candidates in these contests. Full results are available on the Election Analysis page on the CAWP website. There are still a significant number of races featuring women candidates that remain too close to call, so this page will update as results are determined. Complete context about women in the 2022 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, are available via CAWP's Election Watch.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • Former State Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R) won the special election to fill the remainder of former U.S. Representative Devin Nunes’ (R) term in California’s 22nd congressional district. Upon her swearing in, a record 146 women will serve in the U.S. Congress (27.3%), and a record 122 women will serve in the U.S. House (28%). Her entry will also mark a new high for Republican women in Congress (40) and in the House (32). Conway’s term will end in January 2023; she did not run for a full term starting in January 2023.
  • No women won nominations in the three states with U.S. Senate primary contests (California, Iowa, and South Dakota) on June 7th.
  • Women are the majority of U.S. House nominees in Iowa (62.5%) and New Mexico (83.3%), and women will be at least 50% of U.S. House nominees in Montana in November. Two of four general election U.S. House contests in Iowa and two of three general election U.S. House contests in New Mexico will be all women.
  • Among U.S. House contests already called in the seven states where primaries were held on June 7th:
    • Just 1 (1D) non-incumbent woman is in a contest deemed competitive by Cook Political Report: Former State Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) has advanced to the general election to challenge incumbent Representative Mike Garcia (R) in CA-27, a contest currently rated as a Republican toss up by Cook Political Report. In the 2020 election, Smith was defeated by Garcia in CA-25 by just over 300 votes. 
    • All but 1 (1R) woman incumbent running for re-election have already advanced to the general election; Representative Young Kim (R-CA) is in a contest too close to call but is among the top two candidates likely to advance. However, multiple incumbent women are in contests currently deemed toss ups by Cook Political Report: Cindy Axne (D, IA-03), Yvette Herrell (R, NM-02), and Michelle Steel (R, CA-45). In addition, 3 (3D) women incumbents from California did not run for re-election to the U.S. House: Karen Bass (D) ran for mayor of Los Angeles, and Jackie Speier (D) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D) will retire at the end of this term.
    • The sole woman candidate in South Dakota – State Representative Taffy Howard (R) – was unsuccessful in her Republican primary challenge to incumbent Representative Dusty Johnson (R) for South Dakota’s at-large U.S. House seat, ensuring that South Dakota will remain a state with no women in its congressional delegation in 2023.
    • Dianne Black (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Trent Kelly (R) in MS-01, a contest currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. She would be the first woman to serve in the U.S. House from Mississippi as well as the first Black woman to represent Mississippi in Congress.
    • Monica Tranel (D) won the Democratic nomination for the open-seat U.S. House contest in MT-01, a contest currently rated as “Likely Republican” by Cook Political Report. No woman has served in the U.S. Congress from Montana since 1943.
  • All 3 (2D, 1R) incumbent women governors in June 7th primary states – Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Kristi Noem (R-SD), and Kim Reynolds (R-IA) – will be nominees for re-election in November.
    • Diedre DeJear (D) has won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Governor Kim Reynolds (R) in November. DeJear is just the second Black woman to win a major-party nomination for governor in the U.S. The first was Stacey Abrams, who won the Democratic nomination for governor of Georgia in both 2018 and 2022. If elected, DeJear would be the first Democratic woman, first Black woman, and first woman of color governor of Iowa, as well as the first Black woman governor in the U.S.
  • Audrey Trujillo (R) will challenge incumbent New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) in an all-woman contest in November.
  • Lara Montoya (D) won the Democratic nomination for treasurer in New Mexico. No woman has served as treasurer in New Mexico.

For more information, see the full analysis of how women fared in yesterday's contests on our Election Analysis page. Complete context about women in the 2022 elections can be found on CAWP's Election Watch.

Contact

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