The Huffington Post – By Amanda Terkel
The 2012 election cycle is on track to break the record for the highest number of female candidates running for House seats in the general election, according to calculations by the 2012 Project, a campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
With the primary voting season at the halfway mark, there are 97 women in 26 states who have won their party’s nomination and will be on the ballot in the November general elections.
“If the same voting patterns continue in the remaining 24 states, where 115 women are slated to run, as many as 60 additional women would advance to the general election, putting the total well above the current record of 141 women candidates set in 2004,” according to the 2012 Project.
Women currently hold 73 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Four states — Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi and Vermont — have never had a woman serving in their congressional delegation.
“Research shows that women leaders introduce more bills, bring more resources home to their districts and advocate for new issues on the legislative agenda,” said Mary Hughes, founder of the 2012 Project, in a statement.
Already in this election cycle, 294 women have filed to run for House seats, with four more expected to do so, breaking the previous record set in 2010 of 262 women.
There are also a record number of Democratic women running for Senate seats in the 2012 elections.
At the gubernatorial level, however, fewer women are candidates. While four Republican women are governors, just two Democratic women hold that office — and both are resigning. This year New Hampshire is the only state where women are running for governor; Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan are competing in the Democratic primary, along with Bill Kennedy, to win their party’s nomination.