Over 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record
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.
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-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
As the number of women running for office has grown, so too has the gender gap between the parties. Hillary Clinton beat President Trump 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 Biden 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.
“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 Rogers (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 Hurd (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.
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