FEATURED:

Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress

Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress
© Getty Images

A record number of women have won major party nominations for governorships and seats in the House of Representatives this year — a full month before primary season is officially over.

Democrats on Tuesday chose former Michigan House Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Kansas state Sen. Laura Kelly (D) as their nominees for governorships.

ADVERTISEMENT

That brings the number of women who have won major party gubernatorial nominations to 11 — one more than the previous record, set five times over the last quarter century.

Democrats have nominated women as their gubernatorial candidates in Idaho, Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and Maine. Republicans nominated Rep. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemWomen candidates set nationwide records The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — 2020 hopefuls lead the charge against Kavanaugh Sunday shows preview: Trump stokes intel feud over clearances MORE (R) in South Dakota. Incumbent Govs. Kate Brown (D) of Oregon, Kay Ivey (R) of Alabama and Kim Reynolds (R) of Iowa have all won renomination.

The number of female gubernatorial candidates is almost certain to swell in the month before primaries end. Women are close to the lead or leading races in Hawaii, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida and New Hampshire. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is all but certain to win renomination.

"We're not just breaking records here this year, we're blowing through them," said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers. "What we're seeing this year is the whole reason why we want more women to run for office."

Data from the Center for American Women and Politics show more women have won nominations for seats in Congress, as well.

When the polls closed in Michigan, Missouri and Washington state on Tuesday, a handful of women formally advanced to the November midterm elections, bringing the total number of female nominees above the previous record. Two years ago, 167 women secured major party nominations for seats in Congress.

Many candidates who won nominations on Tuesday are almost certain to return to Congress, including incumbents in safe districts like Reps. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellRep. Debbie Dingell says she heard of gang rapes taking place when she was in college Dem rep says not enough progress has been made on hearing out misconduct allegations The Hill's Morning Report — Historic, high-stakes day for Kavanaugh and Ford MORE (D-Mich.), Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceFemale House Dems urge Senate to delay Kavanaugh testimony for FBI investigation House Dems push to delay Kavanaugh vote for investigation Lawmakers move to award posthumous Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin MORE (D-Mich.), Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerCongress should provide parents an opportunity to care for newborn and adopted children Paid family leave could give new parents a much-needed lifeline Vulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders MORE (R-Mo.) and Vicky HartzlerVicky Jo HartzlerRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Lawmakers target Chinese security companies over spy fears MORE (R-Mo.).

Four women who hold House seats from Washington state — Reps. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Hillicon Valley: Deal reached on ZTE, but lawmakers look to block it | New encryption bill | Dems push Ryan for net neutrality vote | Google vows it won't use AI for weapons Lawmakers renew push to preempt state encryption laws MORE (D), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalElection Countdown: Midterm fight heats up over Kavanaugh | McConnell sees energized base | Dems look to women to retake House | How suburban voters could decide control of Congress | Taylor Swift backs Tennessee Dems | Poll shows Cruz up 5 in Texas Dems look to women to take back the House after Kavanaugh fight Wrong for Democrats to call for more Kavanaugh investigations MORE (D), Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerWashington’s Dem governor invites Trump to come campaign for GOP candidates Dems see wider path to House after tight Ohio race Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE (R) and Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersTrump 'baby blimp' flies in Washington state for Pence visit The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — FBI widens scope of Kavanaugh investigation | Nightmare vote for red-state Dems | Five weeks to midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Kavanaugh ordeal thrusts FBI into new political jam MORE (R) — advanced to November's midterm elections.

McMorris Rodgers faces a potentially strong challenge from Lisa Brown, a former state Senate Democratic leader. With thousands of ballots left to count, McMorris Rodgers had taken only about 500 votes more than Brown in the top-two primary, hinting at a close race ahead.

Herrera Beutler will also face a Democratic woman in November. The Republican narrowly led college professor Carolyn Long (D), 41 to 37 percent, with five other candidates splitting the remaining vote.

Democratic women won primaries on Tuesday and will face Reps. Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergDems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Five takeaways from Ohio's too-close-to-call special election MORE (R-Mich.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), Justin AmashJustin AmashWatchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat Cook Political Report shifts 7 more races towards Dems Rand Paul ramps up his alliance with Trump MORE (R-Mich.), Paul MitchellPaul MitchellRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Analysis: More independents than Republicans in California now MORE (R-Mich.), Blaine LuetkemeyerWayne (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE (R-Mo.), Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress House GOP starts summer break on a note of friction Overnight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms MORE (R-Mo.) and Dan NewhouseDaniel (Dan) Milton NewhouseRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress House GOP refuses to boost funding for election security GOP will vote on immigration next week, sinking discharge petition MORE (R-Wash.) in the fall. Democrats also nominated a woman, Haley Stevens, to run for a seat being vacated by Rep. Dave TrottDavid Alan TrottElection Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight House battlefield expands as ad wars hit new peak Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests MORE (R-Mich.).

And Democrats nominated women to replace former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersFormer campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Kavanaugh controversy has led to politicization of 'Me Too,' says analyst Sexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points MORE Jr. (D-Mich.), who resigned in disgrace over sexual harassment accusations. Detroit voters picked City Council President Brenda Jones as the Democratic nominee to fill the remainder of Conyers's term and former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) to take over when the next Congress convenes.

Republicans picked insurance consultant Candius Stearns (R) as their nominee to replace retiring Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.). Stearns will face Andy Levin, Sandy's son, in the heavily Democratic district in November.

Women are running for office, and winning, more frequently now than ever before, Walsh said. The first year in which women captured more than 100 party nominations for U.S. House seats was 1992; every year since, women have won more than 100 nominations.

"If women aren't in these races, we're not going to see more women getting elected. It's a process," Walsh said.

The number of women nominated by major parties for House seats will expand in the month until primary season is over. Hawaii, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Louisiana all have primary elections ahead.