Quietly away from the Trump headlines….
Republicans reach out to more woman running and winning office….
Van Duyne is one of the 17 newly elected Republican women who will give the party a record number of female lawmakers in Congress, the results of a successful strategy of recruiting and supporting women running for office. Of the 13 Democratic incumbents who lost their seats on election night, Republican women were responsible for defeating 10. In January, Republicans will welcome their most ethnically diverse and gender-diverse freshman class in history as women and lawmakers of color join their predominantly White and male ranks.
While these women see their gender as an added benefit for party diversity — and not as the core of their brand — the recruitment effort behind their success nonetheless reflects a major shift: Republicans have long claimed to reject “identity politics,” while watching their appeal shrink largely to White men. Democrats, on the other hand, promote women and minorities regularly, as their numbers have grown and women such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris shatter glass ceilings.
Now, as a result of their extraordinary new support network, Republicans can point to their own gains, including at least 28 women in the House and nine female senators next year. GOP women lead in two House races in Iowa and New York that Democratic candidates are contesting. Others, such as former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem, are seen as potential future presidential candidates.
“What [GOP leaders] learned from the cycle is that women can win,” said Sarah Chamberlain, a GOP strategist who runs the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and has been trying to elect more women for years. “As a woman, as a mother of a daughter, I think it is a huge step forward. … We need to be well-represented here on both sides of the aisle.”….
image….Incoming GOP congresswomen outside the U.S. Capitol. Front row, from left (six women): Nicole Malliotakis, Yvette Herrell, Kat Cammack, Stephanie Bice, Victoria Spartz and Michelle Park Steel. Back row, from left: Young Kim, Claudia Tenney, Maria Elvira Salazar, Ashley Hinson and Beth Van Duyne. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)