Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress

Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress
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A record number of women have won major party nominations for governorships and seats in the House of Representatives this year — a full month before primary season is officially over.

Democrats on Tuesday chose former Michigan House Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Kansas state Sen. Laura Kelly (D) as their nominees for governorships.

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That brings the number of women who have won major party gubernatorial nominations to 11 — one more than the previous record, set five times over the last quarter century.

Democrats have nominated women as their gubernatorial candidates in Idaho, Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and Maine. Republicans nominated Rep. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Dem poll finds slim GOP lead in SD governor race Trump, GOP launch full-court press on compromise immigration measure MORE (R) in South Dakota. Incumbent Govs. Kate Brown (D) of Oregon, Kay Ivey (R) of Alabama and Kim Reynolds (R) of Iowa have all won renomination.

The number of female gubernatorial candidates is almost certain to swell in the month before primaries end. Women are close to the lead or leading races in Hawaii, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida and New Hampshire. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is all but certain to win renomination.

"We're not just breaking records here this year, we're blowing through them," said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers. "What we're seeing this year is the whole reason why we want more women to run for office."

Data from the Center for American Women and Politics show more women have won nominations for seats in Congress, as well.

When the polls closed in Michigan, Missouri and Washington state on Tuesday, a handful of women formally advanced to the November midterm elections, bringing the total number of female nominees above the previous record. Two years ago, 167 women secured major party nominations for seats in Congress.

Many candidates who won nominations on Tuesday are almost certain to return to Congress, including incumbents in safe districts like Reps. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Dem: Optics of Trump Tower meeting ‘absolutely horrifying’ Overnight Health Care: Trump health official warned against family separations | Study ignites debate over cost of 'Medicare for All' | Individual market enrollment drops as premiums rise MORE (D-Mich.), Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Photo catches Dem playing Candy Crush during State of the Union The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment MORE (D-Mich.), Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerVulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders Conservative group pledges .5 million for 12 House GOP candidates Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE (R-Mo.) and Vicky HartzlerVicky Jo HartzlerRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Lawmakers target Chinese security companies over spy fears MORE (R-Mo.).

Four women who hold House seats from Washington state — Reps. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Hillicon Valley: Deal reached on ZTE, but lawmakers look to block it | New encryption bill | Dems push Ryan for net neutrality vote | Google vows it won't use AI for weapons Lawmakers renew push to preempt state encryption laws MORE (D), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Liberal Dems lay groundwork to push 'Medicare for all' Dems seek probe into EPA head’s meetings with former clients MORE (D), Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerWashington’s Dem governor invites Trump to come campaign for GOP candidates Dems see wider path to House after tight Ohio race Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE (R) and Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersThe Hill's 12:30 Report Top aide in Kenneth Starr investigation will vote for Dems for first time Vulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders MORE (R) — advanced to November's midterm elections.

McMorris Rodgers faces a potentially strong challenge from Lisa Brown, a former state Senate Democratic leader. With thousands of ballots left to count, McMorris Rodgers had taken only about 500 votes more than Brown in the top-two primary, hinting at a close race ahead.

Herrera Beutler will also face a Democratic woman in November. The Republican narrowly led college professor Carolyn Long (D), 41 to 37 percent, with five other candidates splitting the remaining vote.

Democratic women won primaries on Tuesday and will face Reps. Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Five takeaways from Ohio's too-close-to-call special election GOP worries trade wars will last as Trump engages in temporary tiffs MORE (R-Mich.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), Justin AmashJustin AmashRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Watchdog files Hatch Act violation complaints against 10 Trump administration officials GOP lawmaker fires back at Trump: 'Tariffs are taxes' MORE (R-Mich.), Paul MitchellPaul MitchellRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Analysis: More independents than Republicans in California now MORE (R-Mich.), Blaine LuetkemeyerWayne (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Overnight Finance: Deal on Dodd-Frank rollback | Trump pulls US out of Iran nuke deal | House votes to repeal auto-loan guidance, setting new precedent Ryan: GOP has deal on bill easing Dodd-Frank MORE (R-Mo.), Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress House GOP starts summer break on a note of friction Overnight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms MORE (R-Mo.) and Dan NewhouseDaniel (Dan) Milton NewhouseRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress House GOP refuses to boost funding for election security GOP will vote on immigration next week, sinking discharge petition MORE (R-Wash.) in the fall. Democrats also nominated a woman, Haley Stevens, to run for a seat being vacated by Rep. Dave TrottDavid Alan TrottRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Key primaries in August will help shape midterms GOP doubles female recruits for congressional races MORE (R-Mich.).

And Democrats nominated women to replace former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersConservative activist disrupts campaign event for Muslim candidates Michigan Dems elect state's first all-female statewide ticket for midterms Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE Jr. (D-Mich.), who resigned in disgrace over sexual harassment accusations. Detroit voters picked City Council President Brenda Jones as the Democratic nominee to fill the remainder of Conyers's term and former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) to take over when the next Congress convenes.

Republicans picked insurance consultant Candius Stearns (R) as their nominee to replace retiring Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.). Stearns will face Andy Levin, Sandy's son, in the heavily Democratic district in November.

Women are running for office, and winning, more frequently now than ever before, Walsh said. The first year in which women captured more than 100 party nominations for U.S. House seats was 1992; every year since, women have won more than 100 nominations.

"If women aren't in these races, we're not going to see more women getting elected. It's a process," Walsh said.

The number of women nominated by major parties for House seats will expand in the month until primary season is over. Hawaii, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Louisiana all have primary elections ahead.