309 Women Are Now Running for Congress. That’s a Record.

And that number keeps growing.

Protesters at the Women's March in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2017Michael Nigro/ZUMA

A record-setting number of women are running for seats in the US House of Representatives, a new analysis by the Associated Press finds. The 309 women who so far are seeking House seats this year breaks the previous record of 298, set during the 2012 election cycle. The number is expected to grow even higher, as candidate filing deadlines have not yet passed in more than half of states.

According to the AP, which used data compiled by the Center for Women and American Politics, most of the women candidates are Democrats—one of many ways in which women’s participation in Democratic politics has surged in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s election and the #MeToo movement. Democratic women candidates in 2018 thus far outnumber their Republican counterparts more than 3-to-1, the highest ratio for any congressional election year dating back to 1992.

The increase in women candidates, however, probably won’t lead to gender equality in Congress’ lower chamber. Just 19 percent of House seats are currently occupied by women, and some high-profile contenders—such as Marie Newman, a Bernie Sanders-backed candidate who challenged Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), a conservative incumbent Democrat—have already lost their primary battles. Men still vastly outnumber the women seeking office.

Record numbers of women are running for other political offices, as well. The AP notes that 40 women have declared their candidacies in gubernatorial races, which beats a previous record of 34 set in 1999.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.