A Record Number Of Women Are Major Party Nominees In House & Gubernatorial Races

Photo: Al Goldis/AP Photo
Rashida Tlaib is set to become the first Muslim-American woman in Congress.
Women running for office have been unstoppable during this primary season.
And now, they've official made history: After Tuesday's primaries in Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) confirmed that a record number of female candidates have captured major party nominations in this year's House and gubernatorial races. With about a dozen states that have yet to hold their primaries, the number is surely to go up.
The number of female major party nominees running for the U.S. House of Representatives went up to a record of 183 as of Wednesday morning. (Several races haven't been called yet because they're too close, so the figure could be higher.) The previous record was 167 during the 2016 election.
And with the primary victories of Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and Laura Kelly in Kansas, the number of major party gubernatorial nominees went up to 11. The last record-high was of 10 female candidates more than 20 years ago, during the 1994 election.
Tuesday night also brought the potential to make history in other ways. After winning her primary, Rashida Tlaib is on track to become the first Muslim and Palestinian-American woman in Congress. The Michigan 13th District candidate, who was also the first Muslim woman to serve in the state legislature, will be running unopposed in November.
In Kansas, voters chose Sharice Davids to face Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder on the general election. If the attorney and MMA fighter defeats the congressman, she would join New Mexico's Deb Haaland as the first Native American women to ever serve in Congress. (Haaland is projected to win her race.)
Michigan will also have an all-female Democratic ticket in November for the first time in history, with Whitmer as the gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Debbie Stabenow running for re-election, Dana Nessel as the candidate for attorney general, and Jocelyn Benson for secretary of state.
Even though women are half of the U.S. population, they make up a little over 20% of the country's elected officials. If this primary season proves anything is that 2018 will be the year we start closing that gap once and for all.

More from US News

R29 Original Series