Still Seeking The GOP Women

There are a couple of interesting primaries today for those who share my interest in women GOP candidates.

But first, let me catch up, because I didn't update last week on this. There was a major plus for those interested in seeing more Republican women in high elected office -- in a surprise, Deb Fischer won the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska, likely meaning that she will become a US Senator. This would give Republicans at least four women in the Senate, from their current five.

As an aside, her Democratic opponent is Bob Kerrey, making this the Kerrey-Fischer election. Make your own Princess Leia joke here.

Not so much good news on the House of Representatives front, however. Of the 9 congressional districts with primaries last Tuesday, only one resulted in a woman GOP nominee -- Delinda Morgan, running against (brief) incumbent Suzanne Bonamici in a pretty solidly Democratic district.

That brings the grand total to 12 women nominated in 105 districts so far: 5 incumbents, 6 challenging incumbent Democrats, and 1 seeking an open Republican seat. That last is Susan Brooks in Indiana; the one challenger with a decent chance is Jackie Walorski, also in Indiana. 

Today, two more states hold primaries, with 10 districts at stake. Only two Republican women are on those ballots, but as I hinted above they're both of interest.

In Arkansas, Beth Anne Rankin is running for the open seat where she failed to beat Democrat Mike Ross in 2010. The district has been redrawn, and should be competitive. A recent poll suggests that Rankin will lose the GOP primary to Tom Cotton, but I don't know how accurate that is.

In Kentucky, state representative Alecia Webb-Edgington is a serious contender in the primary for an open Republican seat, to replace Geoff Davis. As I understand it from afar, Webb-Edgington is seen as something of the establishment choice in the primary, facing Thomas Massie, who is backed by Ron Paul and the Club for Growth; and social-conservative hard-liner Gary Moore.

[Update: Ranking and Webb-Edgington both lost their primaries.]

Next week brings us the Texas primaries, in 36 districts; Texas, with just one woman among its 23 current Republican US House members (Kay Granger), is one of the major obstacles to anything resembling gender-parity for the party. With several brand-new districts and open seats, there's a chance to change that; I'll take a closer look later.


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