Ahead of the Minnesota primary election on August 14, 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 Minnesota primary races for congressional and statewide offices, see CAWP’s Election Watch page.
Current: 3 (3D) of 10 members of the Minnesota congressional delegation (30%)
Filed: 12 (8D, 4R)**
Percent of all Filed Congressional Candidates (D/R): 26.1% (12 of 46)
**Counts do not include candidates for Minnesota’s special U.S. Senate election, where current Senator Tina Smith (D) is running to keep her seat for the remainder of the term.
Current: 2 of 2 senators
- Incumbent U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D) and Tina Smith (D) are both up for election this year. Klobuchar is running for her next full term, while Smith is competing in a special election to serve out the remainder of former Senator Al Franken’s term.
Filed: 2 (1D, 1R)**
- Incumbent U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) is running for re-election. She is being challenged by 4 Democrats in the primary.
- 1 (1R) women is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Klobuchar in the general election.
Percent of all Filed Senate Candidates (D/R): 25% (2 of 8)
Percent of all Filed Democratic Senate Candidates: 20% (1 of 5)
Percent of all Filed Republican Senate Candidates: 25% (1 of 4)
**Counts do not include candidates for Minnesota’s special U.S. Senate election, where current Senator Tina Smith (D) is running to keep her seat for the remainder of the term. There is one other woman in the special election contest; Karin Housley (R) is seeking the Republican nomination.
Current: 1 of 8 representatives (12.5%)
- Current Representative Betty McCollum (D) is running for re-election this year. She is one of 3 women who has ever served in the U.S. House from Minnesota.
Filed: 10 (7D, 3R)
- Incumbent Representative Betty McCollum (D) is running for re-election this year.
- 2 (1D, 1R) women are running as challengers, including one Republican woman challenging an incumbent of her own party and one Democratic woman seeking the nomination to challenge a Republican incumbent this fall.
- 7 (5D, 2R) women candidates are running for open seats in 3 congressional districts; 2 Democratic women are running in the MN-08 and 3 Democratic women are running in MN-05. The Republican women candidates are running in MN-05 and MN-01.
* Of the 10 women candidates for the U.S. House in Minnesota, two are women of color. MI-05 Democratic candidate (and current state representative) Ilhan Omar is Somali-American and Democratic candidate Patricia Torres Ray (and current state senator), also running in the 5th congressional district, is Latina. No woman of color has ever been sent to Congress from Minnesota. If elected, Omar would also be among the first Muslim women in Congress. Last week, Rashida Tlaib all but secured her election to the U.S. House in Michigan’s 13th congressional district.
Districts with Women Candidates: 6 of 8
Percent of all Filed House Candidates (D/R): 26.3% (10 of 38)
Percent of all Filed Democratic House Candidates: 33.3% (7 of 21)
Percent of all Filed Republican House Candidates: 17.6% (3 of 17)
Recent history: The number of women who filed for major party candidacy for the U.S. House in Minnesota 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 Minnesota between 2008 and 2018, and matches the high point for Republican women candidates in the same period.
No woman has ever served as governor of Minnesota.
Filed: 2 (2D)
- Current Attorney General Lori Swanson (D) and former Minnesota House Majority Leader Erin Murphy (D) are competing for the Democratic nomination for Minnesota’s open gubernatorial seat.
Percent of all Filed Gubernatorial Candidates (D/R): 25% (2 of 8)
Percent of all Filed Democratic House Candidates: 40% (2 of 5)
Percent of all Filed Republican House Candidates: 0% (0 of 3)
OTHER STATEWIDE ELECTED EXECUTIVE OFFICES
Current: 3 (2D, 1R) of 4 positions (excludes governor) (25%)
- Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach (R) was appointed in 2018 and is running for a full term this year.
- Incumbent Attorney General Lori Swanson (D) is not running for re-election, instead running for governor.
- Incumbent State Auditor Rebecca Otto (D) made an early bid for governor, but left the race after she did not secure the Democratic endorsement. She is not running for re-election as state auditor this year.
Filed: 9 (4D, 5R)
- 5 (2D, 3R) women will be on the ballot as candidates for lieutenant governor; in Minnesota, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run as a ticket in both the primary and general election. Of the 5 women on the ballot as candidates lieutenant governor, 3 (2D, 1R) are women of color. Democrat Penny Flanagan and Republican Donna Bergstrom identify as Native American, and Democrat Erin Maye-Quade identifies as multi-racial.
- 2 (1D, 1R) women are running unopposed in their primary bids for state auditor.
- 2 (1D, 1R) women are candidates for attorney general. There are 8 (5D, 3R) total candidates running for the open seat.
** If nominated, the Erin Murphy/Erin Maye-Quade ticket for governor and lieutenant governor would be the 5th all-female major party ticket to compete in a general election for governor. Previous all-female general election tickets include:
- 1994: Dawn Clark Netsch & Penny Severns (D-IL)
- 1999: Peppy Martin & Wanda Cornelius (R-KY)
- 2013: Barbara Buono & Milly Silva (D-NJ)
- 2014: Susan Wismer & Susy Blake (D-SD)
Percent of all Filed Statewide Executive (other than governor) Candidates (D/R): 45% (9 of 20)
Percent of all Filed Democratic Statewide Executive (other than governor) Candidates: 33.3% (4 of 12)
Percent of all Filed Republican Statewide Executive (other than governor) Candidates: 62.5% (5 of 8)