GOP Women Update -- & 1st Gay Dad In Congress?

In the week or so since I posted at length about the meager outlook for women Republicans in elected office, I have some updates that seem to show the problem only worsening.

First of all, as you probably know, DeDe Scozzafava was chased out of the race and, one assumes, out of the party altogether. Meanwhile, the GOP added two male governors, meaning that they now have 3 women out of 24 governors, dropping the percentage to 12.5%.

Today, we learn that, as suspected, Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell will not run for re-election. Oh, and Heather Wilson has opted not to run for governor in New Mexico.

On the Senate side, the best shot for a new female GOP Senator -- Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire -- is in increasing danger of falling victim from the right herself. Club for Growth is reportedly planning to side with Ovide Lamontagne (who just officially announced) in that primary. And if that doesn't provide enough ammunition against her, wealthy businessman Bill Binnie has jumped into the Republican primary too, planning to spend "an undetermined amount of his own money." Oh, and of course this comes just as the NRSC, running scared of the tea party crowd, just pulled primary funding for its favored candidates like... Kelly Ayotte.

Movement conservatives are also going after newly-officially-announced Senate candidate Carly Fiorina in California. Senator Jim DeMint has now endorsed her conservative opponent, Chuck Devore, who is quickly becoming a national cause for the far right. And, in Colorado, NRSC favorite Jane Norton is also increasingly likely to be the target of Club for Growth attack, in preference for a male candidate to be the GOP's challenger to Michael Bennet.

I had mentioned that of the 17 women Republicans in the US House of Representatives, one -- Mary Fallon -- is leaving to run for governor, and at least two others were vulnerable: Bachmann of Minnesota, and Schmidt of Ohio.

As you may have heard, Bachmann was out leading a wingnutty anti-health-care-reform rally on Capitol Hill today -- which Fallon spoke at.

While Bachmann and Fallon work to make themselves too wacky for the general election, at least one relative moderate seeking re-election is under increased challenge in her primary. Down in Florida, Ginny Brown-Waite has a (male) primary challenger from the right -- who, according to Swing State Project, is attacking Brown-Waite for endorsing and campaigning for, you guessed it, Scozzafava. 

And finally, there's a congressional race out in California that some of you might want to take a look at. It's the 45th District, where Mary Bono-Mack has long held the seat that she took over when her famous husband died. Steve Pougnet, the Democratic Mayor of Palm Springs (Sonny's launching pad to the congressional seat) is running against her.

Although it's often considered part of the ultra-conservative California interior, the district has become increasingly Democratic. The district went for Obama, and Pougnet's campaign manager tells me that Republicans' registration edge is very slim now. He also tells me that they've already raised $400,000 for the campaign, a year out; the DCCC is high on this race.

And yes, here's the twist: if elected, Pougnet is a gay man, and he and his partner have two young children. He would be the first (openly) gay dad in Congress.

So, if that interests you, go check him out.

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