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Will 2010 Be the Year of the Woman in Minnesota's U.S. House Races?

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Up to eight female U.S. House candidates could be on the ballot this November - the highest in Gopher State history

At a rally for U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann Wednesday afternoon, Sarah Palin spoke of "pink elephants" who will take back Washington, D.C. in 2010 - referring to female Republican Congressional candidates like Bachmann.

Whether or not there is a rise in the number of Republican women elected to Congress this November remains to be seen. However, the state of Minnesota might set a state record for the largest number of female U.S. House candidates on the ballot.

A Smart Politics analysis of over 550 U.S. House contests dating back to statehood finds Minnesota is poised to have up to eight female Congressional candidates on the ballot in 2010 - more than any year in state history.

The most high profile female candidate from Minnesota is, of course, Michele Bachmann, who is likely to square off in November against one of two well-funded female DFL candidates: the Party-endorsed Tarryl Clark or Maureen Reed.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum is a third female candidate who will be on the ballot this November - seeking to extend the DFL hold on the 4th Congressional District for a 32nd consecutive election (the DFL has held the seat since 1948).

In the 5th Congressional District, two independent female candidates have filed to run against DFLer Keith Ellison - conservative Lynne Torgersen and 2008 GOP nominee Barb Davis White.

On Saturday, April 10th, the DFL will decide whether or not it endorses two more female candidates in races against GOP Congressmen Erik Paulsen and John Kline.

In Paulsen's 3rd Congressional District, Maureen Hackett is seeking the endorsement against fellow DFLer Jim Meffert. Hackett had nearly a 3:1 fundraising advantage over Meffert through the 4th Quarter of 2009.

In Kline's 2nd Congressional District, former DFL State Representative Shelley Madore squares off against former 2008 candidate Dan Powers in this Republican stronghold.

Also on Saturday, GOPers in the 7th Congressional District will have the choice of two female candidates, Karen Nelson and Melva Larson, among the four Republicans seeking the Party's endorsement to defeat Blue Dog Democrat Collin Peterson this November.

All told, a minimum of five and as many as eight DFL, Republican, and Independent female candidates could end up on the ballot in U.S. House races in 2010 - up from just three in 2008.

The previous record number of female U.S. House candidates on the ballot in an election year was six, in 2006. In that election, DFLers McCollum (4th CD), Colleen Rowley (2nd CD), Wendy Wilde (3rd CD), and Patty Wetterling (6th CD) were on the ballot along with Bachmann (6th CD) and Independence Party nominee Tammy Lee (5th CD).

Five women appeared on the ballot in 2000 and 2004.

Of the 273 general election U.S. House races that have been conducted since the DFL merger in 1944, there have been 23 female DFLers on the ballot, 10 Republican women, and 17 third party female candidates, for 50 in total.

DFLers Coya Knutson (1954, 1956) and Betty McCollum (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008) and Republican Michele Bachmann (2006, 2008) are the only three women from Minnesota to have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives - winning 9 out of 568 seats in general and special election contests held since statehood in 1857 (1.6 percent).

Number of Female U.S. House Candidates on the Ballot in Minnesota Since the DFL Merger, 1944-2008

Year
DFL
GOP
3rd
Total
2008
1
2
0
3
2006
4
1
1
6
2004
4
1
0
5
2002
2
0
0
2
2000
3
1
1
5
1998
1
1
2
4
1996
1
0
2
3
1994
0
1
0
1
1992
0
0
3
3
1990
0
0
0
0
1988
0
0
1
1
1986
0
1
0
1
1984
0
1
1
2
1982
0
1
1
2
1980
0
0
1
1
1978
0
0
0
0
1976
0
0
1
1
1974
0
0
0
0
1972
0
0
0
0
1970
0
0
0
0
1968
0
0
0
0
1966
1
0
0
1
1964
0
0
0
0
1962
0
0
0
0
1960
1
0
0
1
1958
1
0
0
1
1956
1
0
0
1
1954
1
0
0
1
1952
0
0
0
0
1950
1
0
1
2
1948
1
0
0
1
1946
0
0
1
1
1944
0
0
1
1
Total
23
10
17
50
Data compiled by Smart Politics.

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Previous post: Tarryl Clark Shatters Minnesota U.S. House Fundraising Record for Q1 of Election Year
Next post: Which States Have the Most Proportional Female Representation in Congress?

1 Comment


  • Congressional District 4 GOP will be endorsing a candidate from a field of 4 on Saturday, April 17 at Jimmy's Conference Center in Vadnais Heights

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