Over 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record

Over 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record
© Greg Nash

The 2020 election cycle has broken 2018’s record for female candidates and includes a surge of Republican women seeking to close a partisan gender gap.

A total of 574 women have filed to run in primaries for House seats and another 58 have filed for Senate primaries, according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

The numbers mark an increase of 20 percent from the 476 House candidates and 53 Senate candidates in 2018.

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Female Republican candidates have nearly doubled their number from 2018, with 246 women filing to run as GOP candidates this year compared to 142 in 2018.

Of the candidates, 104 are incumbents running for reelection, including candidates who attracted national attention in 2018 such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Trump campaign rolls out TV spots in early voting states after advertising pause Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' MORE (D-N.Y.), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Republicans choose Frietas to challenge Spangberger for Virginia congressional seat Over 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record MORE (D-Va.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Police committed 125 human rights violations during Floyd protests: Amnesty Trump campaign rolls out TV spots in early voting states after advertising pause MORE (D-Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility Tlaib opens up about why she hasn't endorsed Biden yet MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war Five primary races to watch on Tuesday MORE (D-Mich.).

As the number of women running for office has grown, so too has the gender gap between the parties. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war Should Biden consider a veteran for vice president? Biden leads Trump by nearly 40 points in California: poll MORE beat President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE by about 13 points in 2016 among women, while the gap expanded in 2018, with women voting for Democratic candidates over Republican candidates 59 percent to 40 percent.

The 2020 presidential election is poised to expand the margin even further, with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Biden offers well wishes to Lebanon after deadly explosion MORE leading Trump among women in a number of polls, Bloomberg reported.

With racism and police brutality dominating the headlines, women of color in particular are looking to make inroads in November, building on gains in 2018.

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“We have been let down by so many of our elected officials,” Democratic candidate Adia Winfrey, who is running in Alabama’s 3rd District, told Bloomberg. “Because we are having these conversations I think people are becoming more aware of their biases.”

Winfrey, who is Black, is also one of 86 women running this year after losing in 2018. She lost a primary in 2018 to Jesse Smith, who went on to lose to Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account The Hill's Coronavirus Report: INOVIO R&D Chief Kate Broderick 'completely confident' world will develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine; GOP boxed in on virus negotiations The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Barr's showdown with House Democrats MORE (R-Ala.), but is running unopposed in the primary this year, according to Bloomberg.

Similarly, Gina Ortiz Jones is running for Texas’s 23rd District after losing in 2018 to Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Texas Democrats plan 7-figure ad buy to turn state blue Republicans face worsening outlook in battle for House MORE (R-Texas), who is retiring at the end of his term.

“There is not enough folks in these leadership positions that have the experiences of the people being represented,” she told Bloomberg.