Women See Success in Ohio Primary — But Most Face Steep Climb to Victory in November


Final votes were counted yesterday in Ohio’s postponed congressional primary. 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’ (CAWP) Election Watch.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • Women are 73.3% of Democratic nominees for the U.S. House from Ohio, but only incumbents are favored to win. Just 1 non-incumbent nominee – Kate Schroder (D) – is running in a contest currently deemed competitive, though the district is rated as leaning Republican. The path toward electing new women to the House from Ohio will be difficult.
  • Nearly 40% of women U.S. House nominees in Ohio are Black women, including 2 incumbents who are 2 of 22 Black women in the House.
  • 3 (2D, 1R) women who ran and lost U.S. House races in 2018 are running again this year and will be on the ballot this fall. Learn more about 2020’s rebound candidates here.

Women are currently 3 (3D) of 18 (16.7%) members of the Ohio delegation to the U.S. Congress. No woman has ever served in the U.S. Senate from Ohio, and that will not change after the 2020 election, as there is no U.S. Senate contest in the state. 

Women are currently 3 (3D) of 16 (18.8%) members of the Ohio delegation to the U.S. House. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9) is the longest-serving congresswoman currently in Congress. Representatives Joyce Beatty (D, OH-3) and Marcia Fudge (D, OH-11) are 2 of 22 (9.1%) Black women serving in the U.S. House.

Women candidates secured 13 of 31 (41.9%) major-party nominations for U.S. House seats decided in Ohio on April 28th. Women are 11 of 15 (73.3%) Democratic nominees for U.S. House and 2 of 16 (12.5%) Republican nominees for the U.S. House in Ohio.

  • All 3 (3D) incumbent women representatives – Joyce Beatty (D, OH-3), Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9), and Marcia Fudge (D, OH-11) – were successful in securing Democratic nominations for re-election in their congressional districts. They are each strongly favored to be re-elected this fall.
    • In the 3rd congressional district, Representative Beatty defeated another woman, Morgan Harper, in the Democratic primary. Harper had been endorsed by Justice Democrats.
    • In the 11th congressional district, Representative Fudge will face another woman, Republican nominee Laverne Gore, in November.
  • 10 (8D, 2R) women nominees will challenge incumbents in November.
    • Among them, only 1 (1D) is running in a district currently deemed competitive by Cook Political Report; Kate Schroder (D) will challenge Representative Steve Chabot (R) in Ohio’s 1st congressional district, which Cook currently rates as leaning Republican.
    • 9 (7D, 2R) will run in districts where those incumbents are favored to win according to Cook Political Report: Jaime Castle (D, OH-2), Shannon Freshour (D, OH-4), Shawna Roberts (D, OH-6), Vanessa Enoch (D, OH-8), Desiree Tims (D, OH-10), Laverne Gore (R, OH-11), Alaina Shearer (D, OH-12), Christina Hagan (D, OH-13), and Hillary O’Connor Mueri (D, OH-14).
    • 3 (2D, 1R) of these nominees also ran for the U.S. House in 2018. Both Shawna Roberts (D, OH-6) and Vanessa Enoch (D, OH-8) were Democratic nominees in the same districts in the 2018 election. Christina Hagan (R, OH-13) ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in Ohio’s 16th congressional district in 2018.
  • There are no open U.S. House seats in Ohio in this year’s election.

5 (4D, 1R) of 13 (38.5%) women nominees for the U.S. House from Ohio are Black women, including 2 (2D) incumbent representatives – Joyce Beatty (D, OH-3) and Marcia Fudge (D, OH-11) – and 3 (2D, 1R) women challengers: Vanessa Enoch (D, OH-8), Desiree Times (D, OH-10), and Laverne Gore (R, OH-11). Fudge and Gore will compete against each other in Ohio’s 11th congressional district, where Fudge is favored to win re-election. No other women of color are major party nominees in Ohio’s U.S. House contests.

For primary results summaries from other states and full context about women in the 2020 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, see CAWP’s Election Watch.