A Record Number Of Women Are Eyeing Running For Governor This Year

More women are turning their passion and activism into political runs, smashing stereotypes along the way.



Nationwide, 79 women  — a record-breaking number — are expected to run for governor as mid-term elections approach, according to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.

The number of women running in the elections includes 49 Democrats and 30 Republicans. This might turn the tables as state and local elections in November unveiled positive results for women and minorities.



These mid-term elections will be significant, particularly in Michigan, because the state has the largest number of women ever running for governor.

"In this cycle, the most surprising thing is how sustained the energy is, and the enthusiasm. I was always a little concerned that maybe we’d get numbed to everything that’s happening, the enthusiasm would wane, and it hasn’t for a second. A lot of it is being organized by and sustained by women,” said Gretchen Whitmer, a Democratic candidate.

The 79 women running for governor is double the number of just four years ago. 

Until now, 39 women have served as governor in 28 states. In 1975, Democratic candidate Ella Grasso was the first woman ever who was elected as the governor on in her own right in Connecticut. Three of the previously elected female governors replaced their husbands, meanwhile 11 women got a chance to work as a governor due to constitutional succession. However, despite a dreadfully low number, current candidates are hopeful and enthusiastic for their victory in midterm elections.

According to the director of the Center for American Women and Politics, Debbie Walsh, voters often view women as "well-suited for legislatures, where it is collaborative. It runs up against the stereotype to see women as the chief decider, the place where the buck stops."

Since the presidential election day, EMILY’s List, an American political action committee that aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office, has seen "a tremendous outpouring of women who are raising their hands and saying they want to run," said Stephanie Schriock, president of the organization. "We’ve never seen anything like this. It is a truly transformational moment. It’s not just Trump’s victory motivating women to run, it’s also Clinton’s loss. I met so many women before the election with tears in their eyes about how important this victory was going to be," she said.

While as many as 79 women are participating for the position of governor, it will solely depend upon the primary elections to determine how this inflow of participation keeps up in the general elections.

Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Chris Wattie

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