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More Black Women Than Ever Are Running for Congress and Governor

·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Women are once again breaking records this US election cycle, including a high of 133 Black women vying for spots in the US House of Representatives — a fourfold increase from 2016. Another 21 Black women are also running for the US Senate, where there are currently none serving since Kamala Harris ascended to the Vice Presidency.

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The data come from the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, which tracks gender in US electoral politics. The center has found an uptick in interest from women the last few election cycles, though men still hold the majority of seats in Congress. There are currently a record 147 women serving in Congress, including a record high 25 Black women.

Overall, CAWP finds that a record number of women are running for Senate and governors’ offices this year, though not for the House of Representatives. There are also a record number of Asian American or Pacific Islander women running for governor and a record number of Hispanic and Latina candidates for both the House and gubernatorial positions.

Among the candidates this year are Representative Val Demings, a Democrat who is challenging Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, and Stacey Abrams in Georgia, who is among a dozen Black women running for governor nationwide.

Democrats send far more women to Congress than Republicans, but the GOP elected a record number to the House and Senate in 2020.

Historically, women are considered more moderate than men. But in recent years both parties have elevated women with more extreme ideologies. Democrats also have more racial and ethnic diversity, and likely will going forward with more White women running as Republicans then Democrats, according to CAWP.

Despite these recent notable gains, Congress is still far from representative of the US population. Right now, women hold fewer than a third of seats.

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