Is 2020 the ‘Year of the Republican Woman’? Initial electoral returns appear to confirm this trend.
Talk about an exciting way to cap off 100 years since the 19th Amendment’s ratification.
As Town Hall’s Reagan McCarthy noted, “At least 12 new GOP women were elected in key house races, with 10 incumbent women winning reelection. With some results still pending, 11 more GOP women could possibly win key house races.”
Some are suggesting if outstanding Congressional races yet to be tabulated continue to trend GOP, there could be upwards of 33 Republican women, incumbents and newbies, in the House chamber.
Historic, if it proves true.
What Ignited the ‘Pink Wave’
Before the election, only 13 GOP women—an abysmal 2.9 percent representation—served in the House. Democrat women won an unprecedented 126 House seats during the 2018 blue wave.
This clearly didn’t sit well with the Republican Party, especially Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). In December 2018, she wrote, “We are at a crisis level of GOP women in Congress & I will continue speaking out. We need ALL your voices to help to make an impact.”
That prompted her to establish E-PAC, whose mission is to “engage, empower, and elevate” Republican women running for Congress.
‘Historic’ Night for GOP Women
According to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women in Politics, 25 Republican women served in the 109th Congress (2005-2007). That number will be shattered this year.
227 Republican women filed to run for Congress this cycle. 94 eventually secured their respective party nominations.
The 19th*, a new women-centric publication, noted Election Night “proved to be a strong showing for Republican women.” The publication even emphasized how these women broke barriers:
“They nonetheless broke barriers in a year that may, once all of the races are called, be reminiscent of 2018, when Democratic women fueled their party’s House takeover, sending the first Muslim women and Native American women to Congress.”
POLITICO noted Republican women in 2020 are “having a historic moment of their own.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley campaigned across the country in support of 21 female candidates at the federal, state, and local level. Haley, former Governor of South Carolina and Republican queenmaker, was thrilled with Tuesday’s results.
"I could not be more excited or proud to support our GOP women,” Haley said. “While they might have been outspent, they could not be out worked. I can't wait to see what they do when they bring that same fight and determination to Washington."
Olivia Perez-Cubas, Working for Women Action Fund spokesperson, echoed Haley’s sentiment.
"If 2018 was the Year of the Woman, then 2020 is the Year of the Republican Woman,” said Perez-Cubas. “After the last midterm elections, we knew that we needed to shake things up and do a better job of ensuring Republican women had enough resources and support to go toe-to-toe with their opponents on the Left. Groups like WFW Action Fund did just that, and Republican women across the country are making historical gains as a result."
Empowered and Ready to Be Heard
A snapshot into the incoming class of female GOP House members will leave many excited. Many representatives are younger, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and hail from suburban districts.
Even more intriguing is the handful of new members who experienced socialism’s horrors firsthand or grew up with parents who did.
Congresswoman-elect Victoria Spartz (R-IN) will make history as the first Soviet-born Member of Congress. She grew up in Ukraine.
Two daughters of Cuban immigrants, Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida and Nicole Malliotakis of New York, can relate to Spartz quite well and similarly educate Americans about the dangers of that system.
Nancy Mace, first female graduate of The Citadel, is the first Republican woman to represent her state in the chamber.
Yvette Harrell, a registered member of the Cherokee Nation, beat the Democrat representing New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.
Outside of the House of Representatives, things are looking good for Republican women in politics.
While Senator McSally (R-AZ) won’t return to Washington, Cynthia Lummis will join as the first woman representing Wyoming as U.S. Senator. Utah State Senator Deidre Henderson will be the third Republican woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor. Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch won a second term. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung ousted the Rhode Island Democrat Speaker of the House. Donna Veach flipped Connecticut’s 30th House District. Christi Jacobsen, incoming Montana Secretary of State, will be the first Republican woman to serve in this role.
And many others are still being accounted for.
Will these women be celebrated in the media or acknowledged by feminists? Highly doubtful. But they don’t need their permission to shine or win over supporters.
The era of the Republican woman is just getting started. You go girls!