Five primaries were held on Tuesday in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia. Among the most notable results for women:
- Katie Arrington defeated incumbent Representative Mark Sanford in the Republican primary for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, which leans Republican. If successful in November, Arrington would be the 1st Republican woman elected to Congress from South Carolina.
- In a Senate race currently deemed a toss-up, current U.S. Representative Jacky Rosen won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller in November. Incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp is the Democratic nominee in North Dakota’s general election Senate race, which is currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report.
- Susie Lee is the Democratic nominee to replace Representative Rosen in Nevada’s 3rd congressional district, which currently leans Democratic.
- Women are 6 of 7 non-incumbent (but 0 of 4 incumbent) Democratic candidates for the U.S. House in Virginia, including Jennifer Wexton – who will challenge incumbent Representative Barbara Comstock (R) in Virginia’s 10th congressional district, which is currently rated as a toss-up.
- 12 (9D, 3R) of 31 (38.7%) women candidates for the U.S. House won their primary bids for office on June 12th and another 2 (2D) women advanced to runoff elections for their party’s nomination.
- 9 of 20 (45%) Democratic women and 3 of 11 (27.3%) Republican women candidates for the U.S. House won nominations, and 2 more Democratic women advanced to runoff elections.
- Women are 15 of 51 (29.4%) of the major party candidates who advanced (either winning nomination or advancing to a runoff) in U.S. House races from these states via primary or convention contests, including 12 of 27 (44.4%) Democrats and 3 of 24 (12.5%) Republicans.[i]
- 4 (3D, 1R) women nominees will compete in open seat contests, including 1 (1R) candidate who defeated a Republican incumbent in the primary.
- 6 (5D, 1R) women nominees will run as challengers to incumbents, with 5 of 6 running in districts that favor their opponents.
- 2 (2D) women will advance to runoff contests to become general election nominees, with both seeking Democratic nominations in solidly Republican districts.
- All 3 (2D, 1R) incumbent women candidates advanced to the general election for re-election in ME, NV, and VA,[ii] with just one (Barbara Comstock – VA-10) deemed electorally vulnerable.
- Of the 13 women nominees for the U.S. House in ME, NV, ND, SC, VA, 2 are women of color. They include:
- 1 (1D) Black woman (Vangie Williams in VA-01)
- 1 (1R) multiracial woman, who identifies as Asian and White (Joyce Bentley in NV-01)
- Across these 5 states there will be 2 women v. women contests for the U.S. House in NV-01 and VA-10. In both districts, incumbent congresswomen are being challenged by other women.
- Just 4 women competed for U.S. Senate on June 12th in NV and ND, including incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and 3 (1D, 2R) women candidates in Nevada, each seeking to unseat incumbent Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). 2 (2D) women advanced to the general election, including Heitkamp (D) and current Representative Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who will challenge Heller this fall.
- In Maine and Virginia, no women competed in the U.S. Senate contests.
Statewide Elected Executive Office (including Governor)
- Of the 9 (6D, 3R) women who ran for governor in 3 states, 5 (2D, 3R) were defeated and 4 (4D) women are in Maine’s race for the Democratic nomination, which remains too close to call on Wednesday morning. Maine’s gubernatorial election is deemed a toss-up by Cook Political Report, leaving open the potential for the state to elect its first woman governor in November. In NV, where no woman has ever served as governor, both women primary candidates were defeated.
- Of the 9 (7D, 2R) women who competed for statewide elected executive offices other than governor in 3 states (NV, ND, and SC), 8 (6D, 2R) (88.9%) advanced to the general election. Just 1 (1D) woman candidate for statewide executive office across these states is a woman of color: Rosalyn Glenn, who is Black, is the Democratic nominee for state treasurer in South Carolina.
Incumbent Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) is the only woman nominee for the U.S. House from Maine. She ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination in Maine’s 1st congressional district. There are no open U.S. House seats in Maine this year.
No women competed in Maine’s U.S. Senate race to unseat incumbent Senator Angus King (I).
No woman has ever been elected to statewide executive office in Maine, where the only statewide elected executive office is governor. In 2018, 5 (4D, 1R) women competed for major party nominations. 1 (1R) woman was defeated in the Republican primary and 4 (4D) women are candidates for the Democratic nomination, which remains too close to call on Wednesday morning.
*A woman candidate (Janet Mills) is leading by about 4 percentage points in the Democratic primary race with 71% of votes in.
Women are 3 of 8 (37.5%) major party nominees for U.S. House in Nevada, including 1 of 4 (25%) Republicans and 2 of 4 (50%) Democrats. 7 (3D, 4R) women House candidates were unsuccessful.
- Incumbent Representative Dina Titus secured the Democratic nomination for re-election in the 1st congressional district. The only other incumbent congresswoman from Nevada – Representative Jacky Rosen (D) – did not run for re-election to the House; instead, she ran successfully for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
- 1 (1D) woman, Susie Lee, will run for the open seat created by Rosen’s move to the U.S. Senate. That district, NV-03, currently leans Democratic per Cook Political Report.
- 1 (1R) woman, Joyce Bentley, will challenge incumbent Representative Dina Titus in NV-01, a district currently rated as solidly Democratic by Cook Political Report.
One of 3 (33.3%) women U.S. House nominees in Nevada is a woman of color: Joyce Bentley (R, NV-01) identifies as Asian and White.
Of the 3 (1D, 2R) women candidates for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, 1 (1D) was successful. Current U.S. Representative Jacky Rosen (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller in November. The race is currently deemed a toss-up by Cook Political Report.
- Current Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (D) became the first woman Senator from Nevada in 2017.
Statewide Elected Executive Office (including Governor)
Women currently hold 1 (1R) of 6 statewide elected executive offices in Nevada and Nevada has never elected a woman governor.
This year, women are 3 of 12 (25%) major party nominees for statewide executive offices in Nevada, including 2 of 6 (33.3%) Democrats and 1 of 6 (16.7%) Republicans. 3 (2D, 1R) women were defeated in their primary bids, including both (1D, 1R) women candidates for Nevada’s open gubernatorial office.
The 3 (2D, 1R) women nominees for statewide executive office in Nevada include:
- Incumbent Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske (R);
- Lieutenant governor candidate Kate Marshall (D), running for an open seat; and
- Comptroller candidate Catherine Byrne (D), who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination to challenge a Republican incumbent this fall.
There are no women of color nominees for statewide executive office in Nevada.
Just one woman – Republican Tiffany Abentroth – ran for North Dakota’s at-large congressional seat. She was defeated.
Incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) was unopposed in her primary bid for re-election. No woman competed for the Republican nomination.
Statewide Elected Executive Office
Women currently hold 3 (2R, 1NP) of 13 statewide elected executive offices in North Dakota. Just 6 of those offices, including two public service commission seats, are up for election this year.
Women are 2 of 11 (18.2%) major party nominees for statewide executive offices in North Dakota; they are 2 of 6 (33.3%) Democratic nominees and 0 of 5 (0%) Republican nominees. Independent Secretary of State Al Jaeger was unopposed in his bid for re-election.
- Both women candidates for statewide executive offices – public service commissioner (seat 1) nominee Jeannie Brandt (D) and tax commissioner nominee Kylie Oversen (D) –were unopposed in their primary elections to challenge Republican incumbents in November.
- Brandt (D) and Oversen (D) were the only women primary candidates for statewide executive office in North Dakota this year.
Women are 4 of 17 (23.5%) candidates to advance in U.S. House elections in South Carolina after the June 12th primary election, with one runoff candidate still undecided. Excluding runoff contests, women are 2 of 10 (20%) major party nominees already selected for South Carolina’s 7 U.S. House seats. Women are 1 of 4 (25%) Democratic nominees and 1 of 6 (16.7%) Republican nominees. 2 (1D, 1R) women House candidates were defeated in the primary election.
Among the 4 (3D, 1R) women candidates to advance are:
- 3 (3D) Democratic women competing in solidly Republican districts, including 2 (2D) women in runoff contests for the Democratic nomination;
- 1 (1R) Republican woman – Katie Arrington – who defeated incumbent Representative Mark Sanford (R) in a district currently rated as leaning Republican by Cook Political Report.
There are no women of color candidates for the U.S. House in South Carolina, a state that has never sent a woman of color to Congress.
Statewide Elected Executive Office
Women currently hold 1 (1R) of 9 statewide elected executive offices in South Carolina. Women are 3 of 14 (21.4%) major party candidates to advance in statewide executive office contests after the June 12th primary election. 2 (1D, 1R) women, both candidates for governor, were unsuccessful in their bids for statewide executive office.
Excluding the Republican runoff contest for governor (where there is no woman candidate), women are 3 of 11 (27.3%) major party nominees already selected for South Carolina’s statewide elected executive offices. Women are 2 of 4 (50%) Democratic nominees and 1 of 7 (14.3%) Republican candidates to advance.[iii]
All 3 (2D, 1R) women nominees for statewide executive offices ran unopposed in the primary. They include:
- Incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Molly Spearman (R)
- Constance Anastopoulo (D), who will likely challenge a Republican incumbent for attorney general
- Rosalyn Glenn (D), who will challenge a Republican incumbent for state treasurer
One of 3 (33.3%) nominees for statewide executive office in South Carolina is a woman of color: Rosalyn Glenn (D) is Black. Former Governor Nikki Haley (R) remains the only woman of color to ever be elected statewide (to the U.S. Senate or statewide executive office) in South Carolina.
Including those nominees selected by convention or unopposed, women are 7 of 21 (33.3%) major party nominees for U.S. House in Virginia, including 1 of 10 (10%) Republicans and 6 of 11 (54.5%) Democrats. Women are 6 of 7 non-incumbent, but 0 of 4 incumbent, Democratic candidates for the U.S. House in Virginia.
6 (5D, 1R) women House candidates won via the June 12th primary election and 7 (5D, 2R) women House candidates who competed in June 12th primaries were unsuccessful. 1 (1D) woman won her party’s nomination via convention in VA-05.
- Incumbent Representative Barbara Comstock secured the Republican nomination for re-election in the 10th congressional district. She will run against another woman – Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton – in a race deemed to be a Republican toss-up by Cook Political Report.
- 1 (1D) woman will run for an open seat in VA-06, a district rated as solidly Republican by Cook Political Report.
- Including Wexton, 5 (5D) women will run as challengers to Republican incumbents; in all but VA-10, the districts are currently rated as favoring Republicans.
One of 7 women nominees for the U.S. House in Virginia is a woman of color: Vangie Williams, the Democratic nominee in VA-01, is Black.
No women competed in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race to unseat incumbent Senator Tim Kaine (D).
[i] In Virginia, a political party may choose to nominate its candidate using a method other than a primary (e.g. convention, caucus, mass meeting, etc.). The Democratic Party chose a convention in the VA-05 and the Republican Party chose other methods in VA-03, VA-05, VA-06, VA-07, and VA-08. Of all candidates selected in these districts, just one – Democratic Leslie Cockburn (VA-05) – is a woman.
[ii] There are no incumbent women in the U.S. House in ND or SC.
[iii] There is a runoff in South Carolina’s Republican primary for attorney general.