Conservative political action committee Maggie's List on Friday endorsed nine female candidates in House races across the country, seeking to gin up support for Republicans as the party seeks to elect more women.
The endorsements, a list of which was released exclusively to The Hill, includes Katie Gibbs, who is running to unseat freshman Democratic Rep. Andy Kim in New Jersey's 3rd District. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up.
The group also threw their support behind former National Down Syndrome Society President and CEO Sara Weir in Kansas's 3rd District, a seat now held by freshman Democratic Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsLawmakers laud diversity gains in Congress Biden meets with vulnerable House Democrats with agenda in limbo Ohio GOP congressman tests positive for COVID-19 MORE. That race is rated "lean Democratic."
Other endorsements are of Tiffany Shedd in Arizona’s 1st District, Kim Klacik in Maryland’s 7th District, Lisa McClain in Michigan’s 10th District, Jeanne Ives in Illinois’s 6th District, Mary Miller in Illinois’s 15th district, Stephanie Bice in Oklahoma’s 5th District and Maureen McArdle Schulman in New York’s 7th District.
Republicans have struggled to close the gender gap in their own party after Democrats saw a groundswell of female candidates elected to Congress in the 2018 midterms.
There are only 21 Republican women serving in the House and Senate, compared to 127 Democratic women serving in both chambers.
Still, the gender gap is apparent on both sides of the aisle.
Just 23.7 percent of women make up both chambers of Congress, according to Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics.
“The energy emanating from our grassroots is palpable, and we are proud to stand as a constructive force in 2020 and beyond. We look forward to supporting our endorsed candidates, women who espouse our values of fiscal conservatism, small government, personal responsibility and strong national security this year,” Maggie's List Chairwoman Sandra Mortham said in a statement.
While Republicans face an uphill battle in their quest to take back the House in November, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown uncertainty into races up and down the ballot. Campaign committees and candidates across the country have mounted digital efforts to energize and engage voters ahead of the elections.