Election On the Hill

Record Number of Female House Candidates File to Run in 2020

490 women are running for seats in the House of Representatives in 2020, the highest number in US history, found the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The previous record was 476 in 2018. In ten congressional districts, both candidates in the general election will be women.

“In 2018, amidst the excitement of a record-breaking year for women candidates, we often asked whether we were in the middle of a one-time spike in candidacies driven by unique circumstances or if we were seeing the emergence of a new normal,” said CAWP Director Debbie Walsh. “This is a sign that the momentum isn’t letting up.”

Though the majority of 2020’s female House candidates are Democrats, the growth in total number of women running comes from Republicans. 195 women have filed to run as Republicans, crushing the previous record of 133 in 2010. In contrast, the number of female Democratic candidates is down to 295 from 356 in 2018. With filing deadlines yet to pass in 14 states, those totals are likely to rise.

“We are particularly encouraged to see Republican women stepping up and seeking office—we’ll never get to parity without women on both sides of the aisle running and winning,” said Walsh.

2018 also set a record for the most women ever elected to the House, with 102 Congresswomen being elected in the midterms. Even after that historic election, women still make up just under 25 percent of the House.

There are 26 women currently serving in the Senate, another record high. 48 women are running for Senate seats in 2020, a slight drop from 53 in 2018.

Sources: CBS News 5/13/20; ABC News 5/12/20

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