Ahead of the Pennsylvania primary election on May 15, 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 Pennsylvania primary races for congressional and statewide offices, see CAWP’s Election Watch page.
Current: 0 of 20 members of the PA congressional delegation (0%)
Filed: 20 (19D, 1R)
Percent of all Filed Congressional Candidates (D/R): 23% (20 of 87)
Current: 0 of 2 senators
- No woman has ever represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate.
- No women have filed to challenge Democratic incumbent Senator Bob Casey. Two men are competing for the Republican nomination to challenge him in the general election.
Current: 0 of 18 representatives (0%)
- A total of 7 (6D, 1R) women have represented PA in the U.S. House, with the most recent (Democrat Allyson Schwartz) leaving in 2015.
Filed: 20 (19D, 1R)
- 5 (5D) women are running to challenge Republican incumbents in the general election and 2 Democratic women are running to challenge Democratic incumbents in newly-redrawn districts 2 and 18.
- 13 (12D, 1R) women are running for 6 of 7 open seats. In the 5th Congressional district, 7 (6D, 1R) women are running to be general election nominees.
Districts with Women Candidates: 13 of 18
Percent of all Filed House Candidates (D/R): 23.8% (20 of 84)
Percent of all Filed Democratic House Candidates: 37.3% (19 of 51)
Percent of all Filed Republican House Candidates: 3% (1 of 33)
Recent history: The number of women who filed for major party candidacy for the U.S. House in Pennsylvania in 2018 is a record high. Between 2008 and 2018, the next highest number of women candidates filed to run for the U.S. House was 10 in 2014, when there were 2 open U.S. House seats being contested, and 2010, when there was only 1 open seat. This year, there are 7 open House seats in Pennsylvania, far more than any other year in this period, perhaps related to Pennsylvania’s off-cycle redistricting that takes effect in the 2018 elections.
- The highest number of Democratic women running for the U.S. House in Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2016 was 8 in 2014. This year, 19 Democratic women filed to run for House seats. The highest number of Republican women candidates in the past decade was 5 in 2010. Just one Republican woman candidate is running this year.
No woman has ever served as governor of Pennsylvania.
Filed: 1 (1R)
Percent of all Filed Gubernatorial Candidates (D/R): 25% (1 of 4)
Percent of all Filed Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates: 0% (0 of 1)
Percent of all Filed Republican Gubernatorial Candidates: 33.3% (1 of 3)
Recent history: This year’s only woman candidate for governor – Laura Ellsworth (R) – is 1 of 3 female major party candidates for governor in the past three gubernatorial elections.
- Catherine Baker Knoll (D) is the only woman who has served as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor (2003-2008).
Filed: 5 (2D, 3R)
- 2 Democratic women are running as challengers to incumbent Mike Stack for the Democratic nomination. 3 Republican women are running to challenge Stack in the general election.
Percent of all Filed Lieutenant Governor Candidates (D/R): 55.6% (5 of 9)
Percent of all Filed Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidates: 40% (2 of 5)
Percent of all Filed Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidates: 75% (3 of 4)
Recent history: The number of women who filed for major party candidacy for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania in 2018 is greater than the number who filed in 2014 (0) and 2010 (2: 1D, 1R), when the office was last contested.