Today we turn to the midwest, where Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri hold their primaries -- and I, naturally, indulge my obsession over women Republicans.
We won't be seeing any women succeeding above the "glass floor" I've been writing about -- despite the opportunities presented by two open US Senate seats and two open governorships. Two of those races have no women in the GOP primaries, and the women running for Governor in Kansas and Senate in Missouri have no chance.
Those plum openings have lured some Republican congressmen, creating five open GOP House seats -- juicy opportunities for the party to get women to Washington. Or so you might think. Three of the five have no women in the hunt, and a fourth has an also-ran. The one to watch is the Kansas 4th District, where state senator Jean Shudorf is considered one of three front-running candidates in the primary; if she wins today, she becomes the first non-incumbent Republican woman this year to win the nomination in a district likely to be won by the GOP.
There are 23 other congressional districts holding primaries today -- ten with incumbent Republicans, including three women. (Lynn Jenkins and Jo Ann Emerson, both of whom will probably survive primary challenges, and Candice Miller.) Two are open Democratic seats, each with one long-shot woman with little chance in the GOP primary. The other 11 districts have incumbent Democrats, 7 of whom are considered safe. (Women are running in 2 of those 7 primaries.) Of the four districts with potentially vulnerable incumbent Democrats, two have no GOP women running, and one has a woman with no chance.
That's a long way of saying that, other than the two incumbents and Shudorf, the only possibility of a Republican woman getting elected out of today's 28 districts is state rep Vicky Hartzler in the Missouri 4th. She is up against a (male) state senator in the primary.
There are no GOP women likely to win any of the four sub-governor major state-wide offices on today's ballots. There are 55 state senate seats up (all 38 in Michigan, half of Missouri's 34 seats, none in Kansas). Of those 55, 32 are currently held by Republicans, including 4 women (12%) -- all of whom are not running for re-election. (There's a lot of turnover thanks to term-limits.) There are GOP women running in 10 of the 55 districts, including 8 of the 39 open seats. We'll see how they fare.
Lots and lots of state house seats, in all three states -- 398 in all; women now account for 32 of 207 Republicans (15%). I've got my lists of where women are running and not, but I'm not going to bore you with that now.
But don't worry, I'll be back with more after the results are in!!!