Ahead of the Massachusetts primary election on September 4, 2018, we outline the numbers and proportions of women who have filed as candidates for congressional and statewide office. The data below also provide points of historical comparison to give context to today’s presence and potential success of women candidates.
All data are provided from the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University. For a full list of the women candidates in Massachusetts primary races for congressional and statewide offices, see CAWP’s Election Watch page.
Current: 3 of 11 members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation (27.3%)
Filed: 12 (10D, 2R)
Percent of all Filed Congressional Candidates (D/R): 34.3% (12 of 35)
Current: 1 of 2 senators
- Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) is running for re-election this year.
Filed: 2 (1D, 1R)
- Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for re-election this year.
- 1 (1R) woman candidate – Beth Lindstrom – is running to challenge Senator Warren in the general election.
Percent of all Filed Senate Candidates (D/R): 50% (2 of 4)
Percent of all Filed Democratic Senate Candidates: 100% (1 of 1)
Percent of all Filed Republican Senate Candidates: 33.3% (1 of 3)
Current: 2 of 9 representatives (22.2%)
- Incumbent Representative Niki Tsongas (D) is not running for re-election this year.
- Incumbent Representative Katherine Clark (D) is running for re-election this year.
Filed: 10 (9D, 1R)
- Incumbent Representative Katherine Clark (D) is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for re-election this year.
- 5 (5D) women candidates are running against each other for the Democratic nomination in Massachusetts’ 3rd congressional district, the seat being vacated by Representative Niki Tsongas.
- 4 (3D, 1R) women are running as challengers, including 3 (3D) women challenging members of their own party in the primary election and 1 (1R) woman seeking her party’s nomination to challenge the incumbent this fall.
* No woman of color has ever represented Massachusetts in Congress. Of the 10 women candidates for the U.S. House from Massachusetts, 4 (40%) are women of color. Democratic candidates Tahira Amatal-Wadud (MA-01) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) identify as Black; Bopha Malone (MA-03) identifies as Asian; and Juana Matias (MA-03) identifies as Latina.
Districts with Women Candidates: 6 of 8
Percent of all Filed House Candidates (D/R): 32.3% (10 of 31)
Percent of all Filed Democratic House Candidates: 37.5% (9 of 24)
Percent of all Filed Republican House Candidates: 14.3% (1 of 7)
Recent history: The number of women who filed for major party candidacy for the U.S. House in Massachusetts in 2018 is greater than any other year between 2008 and 2018.
- This year marks the highest number of Democratic women running for the U.S. House in Massachusetts between 2008 and 2018 (triple the previous high in this period), and matches the high point for Republican women candidates in the same period.
Just one woman has served as governor of Massachusetts: Jane Swift (R) served from 2001 to 2003.
- There are no women candidates for governor of Massachusetts.
Percent of all Filed Gubernatorial Candidates (D/R): 0% (0 of 4)
OTHER STATEWIDE ELECTED EXECUTIVE OFFICES
Current: 4 (3D, 1R) of 5 positions (excludes governor) (60%)
- All 4 (3D, 1R) incumbent women in statewide elected executive office in Massachusetts are running for re-election this year.
Filed: 6 (3D, 3R)
- Incumbent Attorney General Maura Healey, incumbent State Auditor Suzanne Bump, and incumbent State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg are running unopposed for Democratic nominations for re-election to their respective offices.
- Ensuring that at least two statewide contests will be all-female, Keiko Orall (R) is running unopposed to challenge Treasurer Goldberg in November and Helen Brady is running unopposed to challenge Auditor Bump in November.
- Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Kathryn Polito is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for re-election.
- There are no women candidates for secretary of state.
* No woman of color has ever served in statewide elected executive office in Massachusetts. Of the 6 women candidates for these offices, 1 is a woman of color. Republican challenger for state treasurer Keiko Orrall is Asian American.
Percent of all Filed Statewide Executive (other than governor) Candidates (D/R): 46.2% (6 of 13)
Percent of all Filed Democratic Statewide Executive (other than governor) Candidates: 42.9% (3 of 7)
Percent of all Filed Republican Statewide Executive (other than governor) Candidates: 50% (3 of 6)