Congress could reach a record number of female legislators

There could be a record number of female legislators in the United States 116th Congress, according to FiveThirtyEight.  

There are currently 238 women across the country from major parties who are running for the United States House, and seven of those candidates are running in Arizona.

“More women are running for office than ever before, as they are taking more and more leadership roles in every aspect of American life. In the case of the Congress, it takes time and a history of being effective in other roles before being a congressional candidate makes sense. I’d suggest that millions of women are now ready and more than welcome in these roles,” former Superintendent of Public Instruction, Lisa Graham Keegan, said.

In Arizona Congressional District 1 incumbent Tom O’Halleran (D) is facing Wendy Rogers (R).

According to American Viewpoint, CD 1 could be “one of the biggest surprises on Election Day.” Currently Rogers is tied with Congressman O’Halleran, both hold 46 percent of voters with 5 percent undecided.

The district is ideologically right-leaning, comprised of  42 percent conservative voters and President Donald Trump (R) won the district by one-point.

In CD 2, there are two women candidates; Ann Kirkpatrick (D) and Lea Marquez Peterson (R).

Former Congresswoman Kirkpatrick and Peterson are running to fill Martha McSally’s (R) open seat.

Kirkpatrick is in the lead with 50 percent of voters, Peterson has 39 percent and 10 percent of voters are undecided, according to a New York Times poll.

In CD 5, Joan Greene (D) is running against incumbent Andy Biggs (R).

According to FiveThirtyEight, Congressman Biggs has a >99 in 100 chance of winning the district. It is forecasted that Biggs will take 63.8 percent of the votes and Greene 36.2 percent.

In CD 6, incumbent David Schweikert (R) is running against Anita Malik (D).

The New York Times poll reports that Schweikert is ahead with 50 percent of the votes. Malik has 36 percent of the votes and 14 percent of voters are undecided.

In CD 8, incumbent Debbie Lesko (R) and Hiral Tipirneni (D) are running against each other for the second time in 2018.

Forecasters predict Lesko will have 52.3 percent of the votes and 47.7 percent will vote for Tipirneni. FiveThirtyEight reports there is a 76.3 percent chance the district will stay Republican.

If these predictions are correct, Arizona will send at least two women to the United States House.

Arizona will also elect a woman candidate to the U.S. Senate for the first time in state history.

In a race that is considered the closest Senate race in the United States, Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Martha McSally (R) are running to fill Senator Jeff Flake’s (R) open seat.

The New York Times reports that McSally is ahead with 48 percent of votes and Sinema with 46 percent. Only six percent of voters are undecided.

Currently, the 115th Congress is the historical high-marker with 107 women in Congress, with 84 in the House and 23 in the Senate.

“Having women in these roles means a more balanced and representative Congress; and the same is true when we add more ethnically diverse and therefore experientially diverse members,” Keegan said.  “The point of having more women or more of any traditionally underrepresented group take office is that their lens and experience are different and essential. It doesn’t mean they think the same things, it means they bring a broader set of experiences to policy making for all, and that is a strength that benefits the nation.”

Election day is Nov. 6. Click here to find your polling location.

Emily Richardson

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