STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Number of women running for US House seats sets record

The number of women running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives set a record Thursday

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 3:09 PM

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — The number of women running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives set a record Thursday, the vast majority of them Democrats motivated by angst over President Donald Trump and policies of the Republican-controlled Congress.

Their ranks will continue to grow in the weeks ahead, with filing deadlines still to come in more than half the states.

In many places, women are running for congressional seats that have never had a female representative.

"It's about time," said Kara Eastman of Nebraska, one of two Democrats vying to challenge a Republican incumbent in a district centered in Omaha.

A surge of women into this year's midterm elections had been expected since the Women's March demonstrations nationwide just after Trump's inauguration in January 2017. Numbers analyzed by The Associated Press show that momentum is continuing.

After Virginia released its candidate list Thursday, a total of 309 women from the two major parties have filed candidacy papers to run for the House. That tops the previous record of 298 in 2012.

The AP analyzed data going back to 1992 from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and did its own review of candidate information released by the states.

While just over half the nation's population is female, four out of every five members of the U.S. House are men. The women's candidacies won't necessarily change that. They still have to survive party primaries and win the general election, often against an incumbent with name recognition and a large reservoir of campaign cash.

Even with the record numbers, women are still outnumbered by male candidates. But experts say the sheer number of women running combined with so many House seats open due to retirements or resignations provides one of the best opportunities for women to make real gains in terms of representation and a change in priorities.

Many of the female candidates have focused their campaign messages on health care, education, early childhood development, family leave and workplace equality.

Eastman said she was motivated by Republican attempts to cut health coverage for low-income people and rollbacks of environmental protections.

She decided to run after her mother, who has since died, was diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time and saw her prescription drug prices soar even though she was covered by Medicare.

"It's a great thing for me to show my 16-year-old daughter," Eastman, who runs a children's health care nonprofit, said of her candidacy.

Mikie Sherrill spent years in the Navy flying helicopters before leaving the military for a career as a federal prosecutor. For her first foray into politics, she chose this year to challenge Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, a powerful lawmaker who serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and was first elected in 1994.

Frelinghuysen has since announced his retirement, creating a bigger opening for Sherrill.

"After a lifetime of service and taking numerous oaths to support and defend the Constitution, when I saw that our democracy seemed to be under attack, I felt called upon to serve again and felt a responsibility to serve my country again," Sherrill said.

She is a leading contender in the Democratic primary and could be part of a wave of women running in Republican-leaning districts. In Indiana, for example, women are running in each of the state's nine congressional districts — only two of which are currently represented by Democrats.

"Part of the reason I thought this race was possible, even despite great odds, was because of all the women who are so engaged in my community in a new way," Sherrill said.

Not all the women running are Democrats.

Tiffany Shedd, one of four Republicans in a primary for the chance to unseat Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran in a rural Arizona district, said she entered the race after she told her husband the district needed someone better. He responded that he knew an ideal candidate — a "coward" who wouldn't run.

When she realized he meant her, she took up the challenge.

Shedd said she's glad to see so many women running, even if most of them are on the other side of the aisle.

"I hope that we eventually live in a world where there's no articles written about that because it's no longer a thing," she said.

Campaigns for the U.S. House aren't the only ones drawing high interest from female candidates.

Forty women are running so far in governors' races, a total that already surpassed the previous record of 34 in 1994. And 29 women are on ballots for U.S. Senate races, a number that will grow as filing deadlines approach in more states. The record number of female Senate candidates is 40, set in 2016.

___

Linke is an Associated Press visual journalist who reported from Washington, D.C. Associated Press writer Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta contributed to this report.

West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 83°
Rensselaer
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 80°
Fowler
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 80°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 81°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 81°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51612

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12074693
Lake5650249
Elkhart361860
Allen2952134
St. Joseph214869
Hamilton1708101
Cass16459
Hendricks1466100
Johnson1345118
Porter84038
Tippecanoe7799
Vanderburgh7686
Clark71144
Madison67864
LaPorte62328
Howard60758
Bartholomew60145
Kosciusko5824
Marshall5579
Noble52028
Boone49144
LaGrange48610
Jackson4783
Delaware47552
Hancock46836
Shelby45925
Floyd41444
Monroe34828
Morgan34531
Grant32226
Dubois3096
Montgomery29820
Henry29618
Clinton2903
White27610
Dearborn26523
Warrick26129
Vigo2588
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Harrison21822
Greene19632
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1586
Daviess15117
Perry14910
Steuben1382
Orange13723
Jasper1362
Ripley1347
Franklin1288
Gibson1242
Wabash1163
Carroll1142
Starke1083
Whitley1076
Fayette1067
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells821
Randolph804
Fulton731
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush623
Posey610
Spencer571
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events