Women are Running for Governor in Record-Breaking Numbers

There have never been more than nine women governors serving in the United States at the same time. Currently, there are only six, but with 36 races for governor this year, we may see even more historic elections for women.

Women around the country appear determined to make that happen.

At least 79 women—49 Democrats and 30 Republicans—are running for governor in 2018 or seriously considering it. These numbers are more than twice as high as four years ago and obliterate the 1994 record of 34 women.

This dramatic surge in women candidates is widespread, with 31 out of 36 states seeing women running.

Gretchen Whitmer, former Michigan state senator, is the leading Democratic candidate for Michigan’s governor and one of only two women (the other, Jennifer Kurland, is a member of the Green Party).

“There is a sense that if we don’t run, then we won’t achieve,” Whitmer said about seeing Trump turn the state red for the first time in almost 30 years. “We won’t have the communities, the states, the nation we want to live in and where we can raise our kids.”

The state of Michigan has had 48 governors, only one of whom, Jennifer Granholm, was a woman.

In Ohio, four of the candidates are women. In Georgia, both of the Democratic candidates still actively running are women named Stacey. One of them, Stacey Abrams, could become the state’s first black female governor.

Idaho may elect the country’s first Native American governor. Paulette Jordan, a member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe, is currently an Idaho state representative. But the 37-year-old is running for governor as a progressive Democrat.

It has been a long past few weeks. In San Francisco, we’ve been busy on multiple fronts working to build a national strategy to fight for democracy, and aim for balance through young progressive leadership. While in DC, I had the great opportunity to meet with Leader Nancy Pelosi, a daring California Congresswoman who stands with conviction. Coming from a family of leaders, we are taught to grow a thick skin early on. However, I know this powerful woman holds her own and does so with absolute kindness. Like many other leaders from both sides of the aisle I’ve met with this week, I know they will take away with them a clearer understanding of the needs of both our states and Tribal Nations. Working together, we can do for ourselves, create jobs in every state, expand our economy and yet protect our mother earth. There has to be balance in everything or we lose it all. It is good to see many of our leaders willing to engage in our legislative summit this week and our forums thereafter regarding our natural resources and government-to-government partnership building. I’m also proud to report our national corporation is growing, adding tremendous value in local economies, generating tax revenue for schools and local infrastructure and creating thousands more jobs each year! #nationtonationbuilding #progress #nationalindiangamingassociation #legislativesummit2017 #workingtogether #bipartisanship #womenlead #alwaysforthepeople

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The role of governor tends to be one of the hardest for women to reach in politics, in part because voters see women as better suited for collaborative legislative positions.

“It runs up against the stereotype to see women as the chief decider, the place where the buck stops,” says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.

Experts expect 2018 will be a “historic year,” with more women running for office than ever before. The history-making women of the 2017 elections may be giving many women the inspiration they need to take matters into their own hands.

Since the presidential election, more than 15,000 women have have contacted She Should Run, an organization that recruits and trains women to run for office. More than 26,000 have contacted EMILY’s List, which helps pro-choice Democratic women run. Only 960 women had contacted the group the previous election cycle.

Some of these women may be governor this time next year.

Photo Credit: Austin Slack


Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks for posting

Chad A
Chad Anderson6 months ago

Thank you.

Elaine W
Elaine W9 months ago

Hopefully noted ;)

Danuta W
Danuta W9 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline9 months ago

I will not vote for a person because they are male, female, or what shade of skin tone they are. I will vote for those that are closest to what I think needs to be done.

I voted for HRC, not out of anything other than I thought she was the best of what was offered.

Not sure why anyone thinks that voting a "driven women" would really be any better than a "driven man"

Patrice Z
Patrice Z9 months ago

This is great news! I look forward to the next election season.

Freya H
Freya H9 months ago

Having said two days ago that I base my decisions on a candidate's personal profile rather than gender or color, I have found a female, African-American candidate whom I can definitely back: Stacey Abrams. If elected, so I am told, she will be the first female black governor IN U.S. HISTORY. Not just Georgia history, y'all!

Joan E
Joan E9 months ago

When Republicans destroy women's rights, we replace them with the people who were born caring about and respecting the female gender -- ourselves.

Janis K
Janis K9 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Dot A
Dot A9 months ago

The old expression comes to mind: "Strike while the iron is hot!" I'd say women have that opportunity for others to listen better now than before 2018.