US mid-term elections: Women break records for nominations

Image caption L-R Democrat Sharice Davids, Republican Susan Hutchison and Democrat Rashida Tlaib, who is almost certain to be the first Muslim woman in Congress

More women candidates than ever will contest US governorships and House seats in November’s mid-term elections. After Tuesday’s primaries across four states, there are now 11 female nominees for governor and at least 185 for the House of Representatives. The results were hailed as a continuing success story by activists for women in politics.  There was also a key election for a House seat in Ohio, in which President Donald Trump claimed victory. But US media said the race was still too close to call, in a safe Republican seat held by them since 1983. The outcome could indicate whether Democrats have a chance to overturn the Republican majority in the House in November After polling closed in the four states holding primaries on Tuesday – Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington – it became clear women had broken records for gubernatorial and House nominations. Victories for Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan) and Laura Kelly (Kansas) in Democratic primaries mean 11 women will contest governorships in November – one more than the previous 1994 record.

At least 182 female major party nominees will run for the House, beating the record of 167 from 2016. Another three women are leading in close primary contests. Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) said: “This has been an election season of records for women candidates, and tonight continues that story.” Ms Whitmer will in fact lead a four-strong, all-women ticket for the Democrats at state level in Michigan. In Kansas, 38-year-old Sharice Davids – a gay ex-mixed martial arts fighter – won her primary and could become the first Native-American woman elected to Congress. Ms Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, wasraised by a single mother who worked as a drill sergeant in the US Army. Her campaign ran adverts showing her hitting a punching bag.