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Year of the Republican Woman: A record-setting 18 new GOP women to enter Congress in January

The new GOP women include a daughter of Greek and Cuban immigrants, two Asian-Americans, a Ukrainian immigrant, and the first female graduate of the Citadel, a prominent military college in Charleston, S.C.

Updated: December 3, 2020 - 12:35pm

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A record-setting 18 (at least) new women are joining the GOP ranks in Congress next year, with one more leading a race in New York that hasn't been called yet.

Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Just the News that a record 94 GOP women ran for Congress this cycle, which helped lead to this new milestone under the leadership of Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).

The new crop of Republican women includes a daughter of Greek and Cuban immigrants, two Asian-Americans, a Ukrainian immigrant, and the first female graduate of the Citadel, a prominent military college in Charleston, S.C.  

"From day one, Chairman Emmer made it a priority to recruit the most diverse class in history, and the results speak for themselves," McAdams told Just the News. "House Republicans have flipped 14 seats, and every one of those seats has been flipped by a female, minority and/or veteran candidate." 

Ariel Judah, co-chair of the RightNOW Women PAC, a fundraising political action committee for Republican women, told "Just the News AM" television program that 2018 was a wake-up call after GOP women heavily trailed Democratic women at the  ballot box. In 2018, Democrats saw the rise of the female "Squad" with outspoken members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

"I think what happened is the party saw that in 2018, we only elected one new Republican woman to Congress, and we needed to do something different," Judah said. "So people like Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) really focused on recruiting these candidates that fit their districts, training them, supporting them early so they could get over that burden of the primary that has really hampered a lot of Republican women candidates in the past. And it looks like we were successful this time."

Judah said it was important while recruiting and promoting conservative candidates to let GOP voters know that her PAC selects candidates not solely because they are women but because they are strong candidates with weighty credentials.

"I think Republicans in general are a little bit resistant to identity politics, but we always make sure that these candidates that we are supporting, they're strong conservatives, they're principled women, they have real life experience that is going to  be an asset in Congress," Judah said. "We're not just supporting these candidates because they're women. We're supporting them because they're the best candidates."

Scherie Murray is a former congressional candidate who lost to Ocasio-Cortez and now serves as executive director of the Unite The Fight PAC. She is an African-American woman who said she was disappointed that there will be no black female Republicans in Congress after Election Day last month. Former Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) became the first black female Republican in Congress after winning in 2014, but she lost in 2018. 

"Strong Black Republican and Conservative Women are missing in the United States Congress,"  Murray tweeted.

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Murray told "Just the News AM" that Republicans can do more to connect with black women at the grassroots level by being more involved in black communities.

"I'm not white, I'm not old, I'm not rich, and that's generally what the Democratic Party does when they come into local communities," Murray said. "They demonize the Republican Party. So we never really have a footing, never really had the opportunity to clinch races in the local cities, and then taking that to the federal level. So I think it's very important for the Republican Party to really outline a ground game that can connect with black women." 

In 2020, President Trump increased support from Black Americans and received the highest share of minority voters since 1960. However, those figures were still low compared to Democrats, especially among black women, who grew from just 4% supporting Trump in 2016 to 9% in 2020.

Murray said supporting strong families is a key message she thinks would appeal to black women that the Republican Party should promote more.

"I think issues like the nuclear family, issues like the economy, issues like criminal justice reform," Murray said. "Those are some of the things that black women can support. So I think the Republican Party just needs to articulate those policies, so that they can garner that support."

The 18* new Republican women entering the halls of Congress in January:

  • Young Kim (CA-39)
  • Michelle Steel (CA-48)
  • Lauren Boebert (CO-03)
  • Kat Cammack (FL-03)
  • Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27)
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14)
  • Ashley Hinson (IA-01)
  • Marianette Miller-Meeks (IA-02)
  • Mary Miller (IL-15)
  • Victoria Spartz (IN-05)
  • Lisa McClain (MI-10)
  • Michelle Fischbach (MN-07)
  • Yvette Herrell (NM-02)
  • Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11)
  • Stephanie Bice (OK-05)
  • Nancy Mace (SC-01)
  • Diana Harshbarger (TN-01)
  • Beth Van Duyne (TX-24)

* In New York's 22nd District, Republican Claudia Tenney clings to a 13-vote lead as of Dec. 1 over Democratic incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi in a see-sawing race that still hasn't been called.


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