Women Candidates & the Midterms: What We Know So Far

BLFF Team | Nov 9, 2022

Our team here at GOTB stayed up late and got up early to track the outcome of consequential races for women candidates this election! While a number of races are still undecided, there are some important milestones to mark already.

Watch a recap of gender-lens analysis from our panel of experts–Atima Omara, Christine Matthews, Mabinty Quarshie, and Amanda Hunter, moderated by Betsy Fischer Martin–here! And stay tuned for a Part 2 of this recap once we have the remaining results.

  • There is a new record number of women governors. As of Wednesday evening, a record 11 women have officially won gubernatorial contests. This breaks the record nine that was first set back in 2004. In two races that have yet to be called, Arizona and Oregon, a woman candidate will win–meaning the final total will likely be 12. The ten women governors elected in 2022 so far:
    • Kay Ivey (R) – Alabama
    • Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) – Arkansas
    • Kim Reynolds (R) – Iowa
    • Laura Kelly (D) – Kansas
    • Janet Mills (D) – Maine
    • Maura Healey (D) – Massachusetts
    • Gretchen Whitmer (D) – Michigan
    • Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) – New Mexico
    • Kathy Hochul (D) – New York
    • Tina Kotek (D) – Oregon
    • Kristi Noem (R) – South Dakota
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders became the first woman governor of Arkansas. Sanders and Lt. Governor Leslie Rutledge together also made national history as one of two woman/woman duos elected to lead a state (the other is Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll in Massachusetts).
  • Massachusetts elected a woman governor–Maura Healey–for the first time. Jane Swift served as governor of Massachusetts over 20 years ago, moving up from her Lt. Governor post when Governor Paul Cellucci was tapped to be the U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Last night, Maura Healey won the governorship in the Bay State. Healey and Kim Driscoll are another trailblazing woman/woman duo, with Huckabee Sanders and Rutledge in Arkansas.
  • Kathy Hochul is now the first appointed and first elected woman governor of New York. Hochul broke barriers when she became governor of the Empire State in 2021, and last night she made history again as the first woman elected to lead New York.
  • The first two openly lesbian governors have been elected in the country. Maura Healey and Tina Kotek broke this barrier.
  • Vermont finally sent a woman to Congress, with Becca Balint winning her raceUntil yesterday, Vermont was the only state in the country that had never sent a woman to Congress. Balint is the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ person to represent Vermont in Washington.
  • Katie Britt became the first elected woman Senator from Alabama. Two women, Dixie Bibb and Maryon Pittman, have served in the Senate from Alabama. When she takes office in January, Katie Britt will make history as the first woman elected to the upper chamber, and the first Republican woman in the Senate from Alabama (Bibb and Pittman were both Democrats).


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