3 Women Candidates for Governor to Watch in 2018

The surge of excitement around women candidates for governor is palpable. Across the U.S., only six states currently have female governors. And 22 states have never had a female governor.

This picture is poised to change: after the August 7 elections, 11 women have been nominated for governor by their party: eight Democrats and three Republicans.

But this is just the beginning: an additional 16 female candidates for governor have still to compete in primaries. 

As The Washington Post headline declared, “Women just broke a record: The most female nominees for governor in a single year.” This record is for both Democrats and Republicans, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP).

Why has the race for governor been one of the most male-dominated events in U.S. politics up until now? 

“If they think you’re nice, they think you can’t run their state, and if they think you can run their state, they worry that you’re not nice,” said Jane M. Swift to the New York Times.

Swift became acting governor of Massachusetts in 2001, the only woman to ever occupy that office, before being pushed out by Mitt Romney two years later. 

Research also reveals that women and men are viewed differently by voters: female politicians are often judged by their clothes, how assertive they, even their family life (remember Hillary Clinton?). What male politicians are wearing and their likability are not considered important.

But having more women in the field could be reshaping those expectations. 

“These are all awesome women running,” says Christina Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Emily’s List, “because mediocre women don’t stand up and run for office the way sometimes mediocre men do.”

Three Awesome Women Candidates for Governor in 2018

Stacey Abrams (seen above) is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia. Abrams was the Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017. She grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, and attributes her fierce drive for equality to her parents who believed in going to school, going to church and taking care of each other.

Trevor Noah recently interviewed Abrams on his show and asked her about how she responds to the constant “nation’s first black female governor” label. She replied, “There is a crayola version of policy making that happens where they do focus on color. My mission is to talk about issues, to talk about education, to talk about why it’s so critical that we create jobs for everyone that pay a good wage.”

Michelle-Lujan-Grisham

Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video

Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Latina and a 12th generation New Mexican, won the Democratic primary for governor in her state on June 5, and may be the most favored to break the gender glass ceiling. She has served as the Representative for the state’s 1st congressional district since 2013. 

During that time she has been chosen as chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Her other achievements include serving on the Budget Committee and Agriculture Committee in the House, taking on the Veterans’ Administration to increase veterans’ access to healthcare and holding the responsible parties accountable when a jet-fuel spill threatened Albuquerque’s drinking water.

gretchen-Whitmer

Photo Credit: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Gretchen Whitmer won the Democratic Party’s nomination for Governor of Michigan in the August 7 primary. Whitmer is a former leader in the Michigan state Senate and easily defeated her two opponents: businessman Shri Thanedar and former Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed.

The Michigan race for governor is a prime target for Democrats. Trump’s approval rating is 36 percent in the state, according to an NBC News poll last month, and he won the state by a very small margin in 2016. So this will be an important race to watch.

The Trump effect is happening and women are rising against his misogynistic, racist and homophobic policies. These are exciting times!

Photo Credit: Grace Presbytery

59 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thanks for sharing

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Carol Johnson
Carol Johnson7 months ago

Thanks for sharing

SEND
Chad A
Chad A7 months ago

Nice.

SEND
Dave fleming
Past Member 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing

SEND
danii p
danii p7 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
danii p
danii p7 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
danii p
danii p7 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
silja s
silja s7 months ago

BRILLIANT !!!

SEND