For First Time in Decades, NJ Sending Two Women to Congress
Tuesday was a great day for women in American politics, with over 100 female candidates winning seats in Congress. And the wave was also felt here in the Garden State.
Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat, flipped the solidly Republican 11th District in North Jersey while Democratic U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman won re-election in Central Jersey's 12th District. For the first time in years, the state will have more than one woman in Congress.
The last time was when congresswoman Marge Roukema and Millicent Fenwick served in 1982 and 1983, said Debbie Walsh, director of The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers.
"We saw record numbers of women running, and if you do not have women running, you are not going to see women winning," Walsh said. "That has been part of the challenge that we have been seeing across the country for the last number of years."
Walsh believes that as a result of the 2016 presidential election, we saw women being energized and activated, particularly on the Democratic side, "and that is reflected right now in the results."
Of the 31 new women who have been elected, 30 of them are Democrats. Across the country, 113 female candidates won seats in Congress.
Walsh says going forward to the next presidential race in 2020, "women are already in the mix and being talked about as potential candidates on the Democratic side. So the story never ends."