Study: Record number of women running for governor in 2018

Study: Record number of women running for governor in 2018
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A record number of women are reportedly running for governor in 2018.

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University finds that, as of March 30, 40 women have filed to run for governor in 2018 as major party candidates, 24 of them Democrats and 16 Republicans.

That number exceeds the previous record set in 1994 when 34 women filed to run for governor.

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“Much of the coverage of election 2018 has focused on the Congressional midterm contests. However, with 36 states holding gubernatorial elections, there are tremendous opportunities for women to advance as chief executives,” CAWP’s director, Debbie Walsh, said in a press release.

“Electing women governors not only places them in powerful executive positions, but it also builds the pipeline of future presidential candidates.”

The filing deadlines to run for governor have passed in 19 of the 36 states that will hold elections this year.

CAWP is also projecting that more than 400 women will file to run for the House in 2018 by the end of March, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. In 2016, 272 women filed to run for the House.

The number of women who file to run for Senate this year is also expected to reach more than 50, according to the Journal, up from 40 in 2016.

Many of the women running for office this year are seizing on the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements, fighting against sexism and sexual misconduct.

“Women are more willingly and successfully using gender as an electoral asset instead of seeing it as a hurdle they have to overcome,” said Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at CAWP.

Thousands of women have filed to run for offices up and down the ballot, spurring hopes among some that 2018 could become a new "Year of the Woman."

There are currently 1,866 female members of state legislatures across the country, making up about one-quarter of all legislative seats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
EMILY’s List, a group that helps female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, says more than 30,000 women have expressed interest in running for some public office.