According to new data from the Associated Press, there are a record number of women running for public office this year, particularly in gubernatorial and U.S. congressional races.
After Virginia released its candidate list on Thursday, a total of 309 women had filed candidacy papers to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, which tops the previous record of 298 from back in 2012. The vast majority of these female U.S. House candidates are Democrats, though there are a few Republicans, as well.
These record numbers are expected to grow in the coming weeks as filing deadlines for more than half the states are still to come. So far, 40 women are running in governors’ races, which passed the previous record of 34 in 1994.
One female gubernatorial hopeful is Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, former House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District. Though she’s taking on a Republican incumbent, Abrams has the chance to become the nation’s first African-American female governor. She recently appeared on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee where she talked about being a black female politician among the old, white male majority and how she was able to convince a Republican colleague to vote against an anti-abortion bill with her because it wasn’t pro-life enough.
29 women are on the ballot for U.S. Senate races, which again is expected to grow as we approach more state filing deadlines. This could be another potentially record-setting statistic, as the past record was 40, set back in 2016.
The AP compiled data from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University from 1992 to the present, analyzing the gender breakdown in U.S. politics. Though 51 percent of the country’s population is female, four out of every five members of the U.S. House are male.
This new set of women running for office, many of them millennials, is in part due to the enthusiasm following the Women’s March and the growing “blue wave” that is expected due to the growing resentment of President Trump. Even though women are running in record numbers, they are still outnumbered by their male counterparts.