Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year
House Republicans vastly outperformed expectations this election cycle, making deep cuts in Democrats’ majority in the lower chamber despite confidence from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that her party would be able to expand their control.
As a result, the GOP will be in a good position to gain momentum and retake control of the House in 2022. Their conference is a handful of seats away from clinching a majority in the midterms after success in the 2020 elections.
From victories in contested open seats to races where Democrats were unseated, the GOP’s electoral might was driven largely by female candidates the party had made a point of recruiting after seeing the representation of women in their conference dwindle.
Here are the 17 newly-elected women who will be bolstering Republicans’ ranks in the next Congress.
Oklahoma state Sen. Stephanie Bice will join the House after unseating Rep. Kendra Horn (D), who won her first term in 2018 in one of the most shocking upsets for Democrats.
The victory, which brings the Oklahoma City-area seat back in the GOP’s hands, comes after Horn was forced to play defense against Republican claims she backed socialism and calls to “defund the police,” which the centrist lawmaker did not.
Bice played up her pro-business bona fides, highlighting on her website her overhaul of Oklahoma’s liquor laws, and the state Senate’s work to “control state spending.”
Colorado firebrand Lauren Boebert gained national headlines for her restaurant that allows servers to open carry firearms, and she is anticipated to make a splash in Congress.
Boebert held an open seat for the GOP, but she may cause controversy within the conference given her past support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. She gained the support during her campaign of some conservative lawmakers while some centrists distanced themselves from her.
Kat Cammack was elected to Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, succeeding retiring Rep. Ted Yoho (R), for whom she used to be a staffer.
Cammack defeated Democrat Adam Christensen in a race that was not anticipated to be particularly competitive.
She rose to become Yoho’s deputy chief of staff at the age of just 24, and later founded a nonprofit dedicated to generating support for local first responders.
Former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach was one of the GOP’s most hyped nominees, ultimately unseating Rep. Collin Peterson (D) in a top flip opportunity for Republicans.
Fischbach was the slight favorite to defeat Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, which President Trump won by a whopping 30 points in 2016.
Peterson had been one of the remaining anti-abortion Democrats in the House and also voted against impeaching the president, though the deepening red hue of his district proved too much for him to win a 15th term.
Pharmacist Diana Harshberger will join Congress to fill the seat left by retiring Rep. Phil Roe (R) in Tennessee’s ruby red 1st Congressional District.
Harshberger entered into a 16-candidate GOP primary to win the Republican nomination before easily dispatching Democrat Blair Walsingham.
Harshbarger has faced attacks for her ties to her husband’s pharmaceutical company and his four-year prison sentence over charges of misbranding drugs. However, she has denied she was involved in her husband’s company.
Yvette Herrell, a former New Mexico state legislator, unseated Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D) in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, winning a seat the GOP had fought hard to flip after Trump won the district by 10 points in 2016.
Herrell and Small are both Native American, and the two had faced off in 2018 when Small narrowly squeaked by with fewer than 3,800 more votes. The 2nd Congressional District spans New Mexico’s border with Mexico and had been in GOP hands for all but four of the past 40 years.
The member-elect embraced Trump’s policies throughout her campaign, including his border wall, and touted a pro-oil and gas stance in a region that is a hub for fossil fuels.
Iowa state Rep. Ashley Hinson (R) won the state’s 1st Congressional District, unseating first-term Rep. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D).
Republicans made the Cedar Rapids-area district a top priority after Trump won it by 4 points in 2016 but Finkenauer flipped it two years ago.
Hinson has served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2017 and previously was a local news reporter. She tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.
Former California Assemblywoman Young Kim (R) unseated Rep. Gil Cisneros (D) in the state’s 39th Congressional District in a nail-biting race that was not called until 10 days after Election Day.
Cisneros won the district in 2018 after the retirement of GOP Rep. Ed Royce, inflicting a heavy blow to Republicans in the historically conservative bastion of Orange County.
Republicans were swept out of power in all of Orange County’s congressional seats in 2018 in the blue wave that swept suburbs across the country and had made the area a top target to regain ground this cycle.
South Carolina state Rep. Nancy Mace unseated first-term Rep. Joe Cunningham (D) in one of the most closely-watched House races in the country.
Democrats had been confident Cunningham would be able to win reelection in the state’s 1st Congressional District, which straddles South Carolina’s coast, but Mace won the seat by just over 1 point.
Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel’s Corps of Cadets, served as the Trump campaign’s South Carolina field director and coalitions director in 2016 and was one of the GOP’s most highly-touted recruits.
Nicole Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly, flipped a Staten Island seat that the GOP had lost to Rep. Max Rose (D) in 2018.
The seat had been hotly contested by Republicans eager to oust Rose in a presidential year, given that Trump won the district by 10 points in 2016.
Malliotakis ran heavily against efforts to defund the police, a mantra Rose had distanced himself from in a district heavily made up of police officers and other first responders.
The first-term incumbent sought throughout the campaign to distance himself from the mainstream Democratic Party, at times swiping at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), but those efforts were not enough to win him reelection.
Lisa McClain, a senior vice president at financial company Hantz Group, will represent Michigan’s 10th Congressional District and replace retiring Rep. Paul Mitchell (R) in the GOP stronghold.
McClain defeated Democrat Kimberly Bizon by nearly 33 points.
She had cast herself as a “Conservative Outsider” and touted her business record throughout her campaign.
Republican Mary Miller will represent Illinois’s 15th Congressional District, replacing retiring Rep. John Shimkus.
Miller easily defeated Democrat Erika Weaver by almost 50 points.
She and her husband run a farm based in Oakland, Ill., and the couple has seven children and seventeen grandchildren. Miller also teaches Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.
Maria Elvira Salazar
Maria Elvira Salazar unseated first-term Rep. Donna Shalala (D) in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in an upset for Democrats.
Democrats were confident that the South Florida district, which Hillary Clinton had won by 20 points in 2016, would stay in their hands, but Salazar, who rose to prominence as a broadcast journalist working for Univision, Telemundo and CNN Español and is of Cuban descent, was able to form a strong connection with the more conservative Cuban voters in the district.
Salazar ran against what she warned was the rise of socialism in the Democratic Party, a message that resonated well with those who had fled the Castro-controlled island.
Her victory came as President-elect Joe Biden also heavily underperformed in the southern part of the state.
State Sen. Victoria Spartz helped Republicans keep Indiana’s 5th Congressional District after four-term Rep. Susan Brooks (R) retired.
Democrats had hoped to flip the Indianapolis-area seat with polls showing the race between Spartz and Christina Hale was trending away from the GOP.
An immigrant from Ukraine who grew up under socialist rule, Spartz during her campaign railed against Democrats for what she said was an effort by the party to lurch the country to the left.
Michelle Park Steel
Michelle Park Steel won California’s 48th Congressional District, earning back a key Orange County district for the GOP in what had once been a Republican enclave in the liberal state.
The victory was yet another one for Republicans in Orange County, indicating the area could be a House battleground in future cycles.
Steel, an immigrant from South Korea, is a former member of the California State Board of Equalization and currently serves as the chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She unseated Rep. Harley Rouda (D), who has already indicated he intends to run for the seat in 2022.
Marjorie Taylor Greene
Greene, who won a ruby red open seat in Georgia, is one of the most controversial incoming lawmakers given her past support for the conspiracy theory of QAnon.
Greene, an ardent supporter of Trump, has railed against Democrats, most recently over what she dubbed “tyrannical” efforts to combat the coronavirus.
She raised eyebrows Saturday when she suggested that while she was in Washington for new members orientation that she had to exercise in her hotel room because gyms were closed, though gyms are actually open in the district.
Beth Van Duyne
Beth Van Duyne will join the next Congress after defeating Democrat Candace Valenzuela in Texas’s 24th Congressional District, an open seat Democrats had said for months they’d flip.
Van Duyne ran as a conservative single mother who highlighted issues at the U.S.-Mexico border in a swiftly-changing Dallas-area district that Democrats were confident would go their way.
She served as the mayor of Irving, Texas, from 2011-2017 and also served the Trump administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
–Updated on Nov. 15 at 11:28 a.m.