Record number of women nominated for US Congress, governorships

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Washington, Aug 8 (IANS) A record number of women have won major party nominations for governorships and seats in the House of Representatives this year — a month before the US primary season gets officially over.

After Tuesday’s primaries across four states — Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington — there were 11 female nominees for Governor and 182 for the House of Representatives, the US media reported.

There was also a key election for a House seat in Ohio, in which President Donald Trump claimed victory. But according to reports, the race was still too close to call, in a safe Republican seat held by them since 1983.

The outcome could indicate whether Democrats have a chance to overturn the Republican majority in the House in November.

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After polling closed in the four states, women broke records for gubernatorial and House nominations, according to the BBC.

Victories for Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan) and Laura Kelly (Kansas) in Democratic primaries mean 11 women will contest governorships in the November mid-term election — one more than the 1994 record.

At least 182 female major party nominees will run for the House, beating the record of 167 from 2016. Another three women were leading in close primary contests.

“This has been an election season of records for women candidates, and tonight continues that story,” said Debbie Walsh, Director of the Centre for American Women and Politics.

Whitmer will lead a four-strong, all-women ticket for the Democrats at the state level in Michigan.

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One of the candidates for the House in the state was likely to become the first Muslim woman in Congress. Rashida Tlaib won a Democratic nomination and will not be opposed by the Republicans in November. She will also be the first Palestinian-American congresswoman.

There will be two all-female races in Washington state. Democrat Lisa Brown faces Cathy McMorris Rodgers for a House seat, while Republican Susan Hutchison will take on incumbent Senator Maria Cantwell, the Hill magazine reported.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Troy Balderson was taking on Democrat Danny O’Connor in Ohio for a seat in the House of Representatives. Ohio is one of the key battleground states in the mid-terms.

Trump tweeted “Congratulations to Troy Balderson on a great win in Ohio. A very special and important race!”

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Despite this, US news outlets have not called the contest yet. The New York Times gave Balderson 50.2 per cent, a lead of 1,754 votes in the 12th Congressional District race, with all precincts reporting.



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