Data Show Historic Number of Black Women Candidates in Midterm Races
Black women are setting records as candidates for the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and governorships in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.
According to Click Orlando, the data comes from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, which tracks women’s political participation in the United States; the count only includes major-party candidates.
In recent years, the House has witnessed more diversity, with the 116th Congress having the most diverse class of members in its history.
As of Oct. 21, an all-time high of at least 134 Black women were major-party candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. Of that, 105 are Democrats and 29 are Republicans.
Democrat Summer Lee, a second-term Pennsylvania state House member, would become the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania, NBC News reported. Community organizer Democrat Odessa Kelly would be the first openly gay Black congresswoman and the first Black woman to represent Tennessee in Congress if she triumphs over Republican opponent Rep. Mark Green.
At least 22 Black women are vying for spots in the U.S. Senate. The number consists of 16 Democrats and six Republicans. Democrat Natalie James is running against GOP incumbent John Boozman for U.S. Senate. If she wins, she would be the first Black member of Congress from Arkansas. Val Demings, currently a three-term congresswoman, would be the first Black person to represent Florida in the U.S. Senate if she beats Republican incumbent Marco Rubio.
Democrat Cheri Beasley of North Carolina is running for U.S. Senate against GOP Rep. Ted Budd. She would be the first Black woman elected to the chamber in the state’s history. Krystle Matthews, a Democrat, is hoping to beat out Republican U.S. Senator Tim Scott to become the first Black woman to represent South Carolina in the Senate.
The CAWP data continue to show that another 12 Black women are major-party candidates for governor. Eleven are Democrats; one is a Republican.
In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams is hoping to defeat GOP Gov. Brian Kemp to become the state’s first Black governor. She would also be the first Black woman in the country’s history to hold a governor seat. In Alabama, Democrat Yolanda Flowers is battling GOP incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey for governorship. Flowers, who has already made history as the first Black woman from either major party to win the nomination for governor, would also be the first Black woman to hold the office in Alabama.