In my ongoing coverage of the rapid extinction of GOP women holding elected office, I have more bleak news. The NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) has added 14 new candidates to its "Young Guns" program, and promoted 15 of its Young Guns to "Contender" status. Of the 14 added, one is a woman; of the 15 promoted, one is a woman.
There are now four women in the program, out of 64 candidates. That's an even lower percentage than the current female makeup of Republican House members -- which is below 10%. Unbelievable.
Two of the 29 Contenders are women, as are two of the 35 who are just "On The Radar."
The new woman on the list is Jackie Walorski in Indiana, who is favored at this point to win the GOP primary over a businessman who has entered the race -- but she is thought to have little or no chance to beat incumbent Blue Dog Democrat Joe Donnelly.
The woman moving up to Contender status is Vicky Hartzler, who is challenging Democrat Ike Skelton in Missouri. Trouble is, Hartzler's primary foe, Bill Stouffer, also advanced to Contender. Also, another (male) candidate has entered that GOP primary. And, Skelton is considered pretty safe for re-election.
The other female Contender is Martha Roby, who is considered a frontrunner among several GOP candidates to take on vulnerable incumbent Democrat Bobby Bright in Alabama. A few months ago I called Roby the best chance of a Republican woman winning election to Congressin 2010, and that's still the case.
The other "On the Radar" candidate is Nan Hayworth, who is running in Orange County, New York, against possibly vulnerable incumbent Democrat John Hall. The local GOP party types don't seem to want her around; they had a guy they were backing instead of her for the nod, but he dropped out, so now several others are looking to get in -- including the Orange County GOP chair.
Note that not a single woman has made it into the NRCC Young Guns program in any of the districts most likely to elect a new Republican: the ones where an incumbent Republican is not running for re-election.
This doesn't mean that there are no other Republican women running this year. (Just look up north to Jennifer Horn.) Some candidates haven't yet met the goals to qualify for the NRCC program (eg, raising enough money), and some may only just now be deciding to run. Still, this news does not bode well for those hoping to see some more female faces among the GOP Congressional caucus next year.