The midterm elections are shaping up to be the change we need in a hot political climate. Simply put: women are turning out in record numbers to run for political offices across the country and we are here for it 100%. And, what’s more, there’s a surge of first time female candidates and it’s unprecedented.
The 2016 election was a game changer for many women and in the light of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movement, it’s apparent that women are bringing their A game to political campaigns across the country. According to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University, at least 79 women are exploring runs for governor, almost doubling the number of women running in 1994 and the number of Democratic women likely challenging incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives is up nearly 350% from 41 women in 2016.
In an interview with Time magazine, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake states, “Women candidates help energize women voters, and in close races, you win with women voters.”
There’s work to do, ladies.
Here are a few candidates you should keep your eye on because not only are they badasses, they also represent the change so many women are desperate to see in their communities.
Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson, 10th District, PA
Raised by foster parents, Corbin-Johnson is poised to become the youngest female member of Congress should she win her seat in November. Now 26, she previously served the Obama White House as the advisor and assistant to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. On her website, Corbin-Johnson states she is fighting to better the community that raised her and she is crystal clear in her objective, “I will not back down.” High five, Shavonnia!
Mai-Khanh Tran, 39th District, CA
Tran and her family immigrated to the United States in 1975 and, if elected to Congress, she will be the first foreign-born immigrant woman to represent California. The two-time breast cancer survivor and mother worked as a janitor to help pay her way through college. She graduated from medical school and has practiced as a pediatrician for the last 25 years. Tran states on her website, “I’m running for Congress to fight for the dream that this country has always represented to me, and to make sure stories like mine remain possible.”
Amy McGrath, 6th District, KY
McGrath took the world by storm when she released her inspiring campaign video a few months ago. A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Marines, she’s set her sights and is aiming high: she’s challenging an incumbent in her district for her first seat in Congress. When she was 12, she was told she would never fly fighter jets. After 20 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are pretty sure you won’t forget Amy McGrath any time soon. McGrath recently made headlines when she pulled her campaign ads from a local Sinclair station and called on other Democrats.
Chrissy Houlahan, 6th District, PA
Also a military veteran, Houlahan is running on a platform that includes improving schools, cracking down on campaign finance and growing our economy. Mother to two grown children, Houlahan is a former chemistry teacher who understands that politics and motherhood are not mutually exclusive. The daughter of a Holocaust survivor, she states on her website, “We need to stand up and speak out against actions that threaten our core beliefs and priorities. We owe this to our children and to future generations so that they may realize their potential and change the world for the better.” Slow clap, Chrissy. We are behind you, 100%.
Mikie Sherrill, 11th District, NJ
Navy pilot, lawyer, mom. Mikie Sherrill is a triple threat and she’s coming for you, Congress. Oh, and in her spare time, she’s a soccer coach for her four young children. Running on a platform that includes addressing climate change, women’s issues, and most passionately, changes to the Affordable Care Act, Sherrill plans to continue her life of public service by serving the people of New Jersey like the badass she is. #CantWaitForNovember
Deb Haaland, 1st District, NM
After being the first Native American woman to chair a state party, Haaland has moved on to a bigger goal: she hopes to be the first Native woman to serve in Congress. Haaland tells Salon that her run is inspiring young girls to put their hats in the political ring, too. After a television appearance a mother reached out to say, “We were inspired to watch you on TV, and my daughter is now going to run for student body president.” Congress is ready for you, Deb and so are we.
This primary season is going to be huge for women and we are stoked to see so many women challenging incumbents like badasses. Change is coming, ladies, and we can’t wait.
Are you unsure about which congressional district you live in? Click here to find out and research the candidates in your area. And don’t forget to register to vote if you haven’t already!