Women Won One-Third of U.S. House Nominations in IN, NC, OH, & WV, But Most in Districts Favoring Opponents

May 9, 2018

Among the notable results for women in Tuesday’s primaries in IN, NC, OH, and WV:

  • 27 of 43 (62.8%) women candidates for the U.S. House won their primary bids for office on May 8th.[1]
    • 22 of 31 (71%) Democratic women and 5 of 12 (41.7%) Republican women candidates for the U.S. House were successful.
  • Women will be 27 of 81 (33.3%) of the major party nominees for the U.S. House from these states this fall, including 22 of 40 (55%) Democratic House nominees and 5 of 41 (12.2%) Republican nominees.
    • 4 (3D, 1R) women nominees will compete in open seat contests.
    • 16 (15D, 1R) women nominees will run as challengers to incumbents, with 12 of 16 running in districts that solidly favor their opponents.
    • All 7 (4D, 3R) incumbent women secured their nominations for re-election in IN, NC, OH, and WV, and will compete in races where they are strongly favored to win.
  • Of the 27 women nominees for the U.S. House in IN, NC, OH, and WV, 8 are Black women. No other women of color secured House nominations in May 8th contests.
  • Across these 4 states there will be 3 women v. women contests for the U.S. House in IN-5, NC-5, and OH-11. In each race, a woman incumbent is being challenged by a woman of the opposing party.
  • Just 2 women competed for U.S. Senate nominations on May 8th in WV (Paula Swearingen – D) and OH (Melissa Ackison – R). Both were unsuccessful.
  • Of the 7 women who competed for statewide elected executive offices in OH, just 2 (28.6%) secured nominations. Former Congresswoman Betty Sutton is the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor and Kathleen Clyde ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination to become secretary of state. No other states held primary elections for statewide executive office on May 8th.

For a full list of women candidates for federal and statewide executive offices nationwide, see CAWP’s Election Watch.

Indiana

Women candidates secured 7 of 18 (38.9%) major party nominations for U.S. House seats in Indiana, including 2 Republicans (22.2% of Republican nominees) and 5 Democrats (55.6% of Democratic nominees). 5 (3D, 2R) women House candidates were unsuccessful.

  • Both Republican women incumbents – Jackie Walorski (CD2) and Susan Brooks (CD5) – will compete for re-election in districts deemed likely or solidly Republican by Cook Political Report. Brooks will be challenged by another woman, Democrat Dee Thornton.
  • 3 Democratic women nominees will challenge Republican incumbents in districts deemed solidly Republican by Cook Political Report, including:
    • Courtney Tritch (CD3)
    • Dee Thornton (CD5)
    • Liz Watson (CD9)
  • 2 Democratic women are nominees for open House seats, though both seats are currently deemed solidly Republican by Cook Political Report.
    • Tobi Beck (CD4)
    • Jeannine Lee Lake (CD6)

There are 2 women of color, both Black women, among the 7 U.S. House nominees in Indiana: Democrats Dee Thornton (CD5) and Jeannine Lee Lake (CD6). The last Black woman to serve in Indiana’s congressional delegation left office in 2007.

No women competed for major party nominations for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat. No woman has ever represented Indiana in the U.S. Senate.

North Carolina

Women candidates secured 6 of 25 (24%) major party nominations for U.S. House seats in North Carolina, including 1 Republican (7.7% of Republican nominees) and 5 Democrats (41.7% of Democratic nominees). 4 (3D, 1R) women House candidates were unsuccessful.

  • Both women incumbents – Republican Virginia Foxx (CD5) and Democrat Alma Adams (CD12) – will compete for re-election in districts considered safe for them. Foxx will be challenged by another woman, Democrat DD Adams.
  • 4 Democratic women nominees will challenge Republican incumbents, including:
    • 2 Democratic challengers in districts deemed solidly Republican by Cook Political Report: DD Adams (CD5) and Kyle Horton (CD7).
    • 1 Democratic challenger in a district deemed likely Republican: Linda Coleman (CD2)
    • 1 Democratic challenger in a district rated as leaning Republican: Kathy Manning (CD13)
  • There are no open U.S. House seats in North Carolina this year.

There are 3 women of color, both Black women, among the 6 U.S. House nominees in North Carolina: Democrats Alma Adams (CD12), DD Adams (CD5), and Linda Coleman (CD2). Two Black women have served in Congress from North Carolina, including current Representative Alma Adams (D) and former Representative Eva Clayton (D, 1992-2003). No other women of color have served in North Carolina’s congressional delegation.

There are no statewide executive or U.S. Senate contests in North Carolina this year.

Ohio

Women candidates secured 11 of 32 (34.4%) major party nominations for U.S. House seats in Ohio, including 10 Democrats (62.5% of Democratic nominees) and 1 Republican (6.3% of Republican nominees). 5 (2D, 3R) women House candidates were unsuccessful.[2]

  • All 3 Democratic women incumbents – Joyce Beatty (CD3), Marcy Kaptur (CD9), and Marcia Fudge (CD11) – will compete for re-election in districts deemed solidly Democratic by Cook Political Report. Fudge will be challenged by another woman, Republican Beverly Goldstein.
  • 6 Democratic women nominees will challenge Republican incumbents, including:
    • 4 Democratic challengers in districts deemed solidly Republican by Cook Political Report: Jill Schiller (CD2), Janet Garrett (CD4), Shawna Roberts (CD6), and Vanessa Enoch (CD8).
    • 2 Democratic challengers in districts deemed likely Republican: Theresa Gasper (CD10) and Betsy Rader (CD14).
  • 1 Republican woman nominee – Beverly Goldstein – will challenge incumbent Marcia Fudge (D) in the 11th
  • 1 Democratic woman – Susan Palmer – is a nominee for one of Ohio’s two open House seats. The 16th congressional district, where she’ll compete, is currently deemed solidly Republican by Cook Political Report.

There are 3 women of color, all Black women, among the 11 U.S. House nominees in Ohio: Democratic incumbents Joyce Beatty (CD3) and Marcia Fudge (CD11), as well as Democratic challenger Vanessa Enoch (CD8). Three Black women, including the two Black women incumbents and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D, 1999-2008), have represented Ohio in Congress.

No women competed for major party nominations for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat. No woman has ever represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate.

Women candidates secured 2 of 12 (16.7%) major party nominations for statewide executive offices in Ohio, including 2 Democrats (33.3% of Democratic nominations) and 0 Republicans.

  • Former Congresswoman Betty Sutton secured a position on the Democratic gubernatorial ticket, as the lieutenant governor nominee and running mate of gubernatorial contender Richard Cordray.
  • Kathleen Clyde ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state.
  • Republican Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor was unsuccessful in her bid for the Republican nomination for governor. She was the only woman running for governor in the May 8th primaries.

West Virginia

Women candidates secured 3 of 6 (50%) major party nominations for U.S. House seats in West Virginia, including 1 Republican (33.3% of Republican nominees) and 2 Democrats (66.6% of Democratic nominees). 2 (1D, 1R) women House candidates were unsuccessful.

  • Both Democratic women nominees will challenge Republican incumbents in districts deemed solidly Republican by Cook Political Report, including:
    • Kendra Fershee (CD1)
    • Talley Sergent (CD2)
  • Republican nominee Carol Miller (CD3) will compete for West Virginia’s open House seat, which is currently deemed likely Republican by Cook Political Report. As a result, Miller appears among the best situated among all women House nominees selected on Tuesday to win a congressional seat this fall. She would be just the third woman ever to serve in Congress from West Virginia.

The only woman candidate among the 8 (2D, 6R) candidates – Paula Swearengin –  was unsuccessful in her bid to challenge incumbent Joe Manchin in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Shelley Moore Capito (R) currently serves as one of West Virginia’s U.S. Senators; she is the first woman senator from West Virginia as well as one of just two women that has represented West Virginia in Congress.

There are no statewide executive elections in West Virginia this year.

[1] Leah Sellers appeared on the ballot for Ohio’s 4th congressional district, but withdrew from the race before the election. She is not included in total counts in this analysis. In addition, candidates for Ohio’s 12th congressional district, who ran simultaneously for a special election and the fall’s general election, were only included once in these counts.

[2] See above note.