Women of Every Race and Ethnicity Broke Representation Records in Statehouses after the 2022 Midterms
Women hit new levels of representation in statehouses after the 2022 midterms, with new records being set by Asian American/Pacific Islander, Black, Latina, Native American, Middle Eastern or North African, and White women, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University.
Kelly Dittmar, director of research and a scholar at the center, said the gains in representation are spread out across states, and the reasons vary.
“There is no one ‘why’ on the record,” she said.
As the nation becomes more diverse, so does demand for that to be reflected in who holds elected office. That can manifest in more women of diverse backgrounds running for office, or party leaders, funders and other recruitment groups being more supportive of those bids.
“Some of it may be self-selection, and some of it is recruitment and targeted efforts to encourage these women to run,” Dittmar said. “Some of it is a combination of both.”
Dittmar also noted that 2022 was the first election after a redistricting period that in some states meant new district lines and fewer incumbents. Women still lag in representation in statehouses overall. Currently, there are 2,412 women state legislators, which represents 32.7 percent of 7,383 seats
“Redistricting often creates opportunities, especially for those who have been previously kind of marginalized in these systems, because otherwise incumbency is a really strong force,” Dittmar said.