With less than five weeks to go until Election Day, we’re finally in the final stretch of the 2018 midterms. The House is in recess until mid-November, meaning incumbents and challengers alike are hitting the campaign trail in earnest.
And while Democratic women so often get the spotlight in the mainstream media, this cycle marks perhaps the strongest group of GOP women candidates to ever run for office. When AR Intel spoke to Winning for Women’s Rebecca Schuller back in June, the executive director of the center-right group said the media’s “Year of the Woman” narrative was largely viewed “through a liberal lens.”
But in states red and blue alike, Republican women came out in droves this year to run for Congress, and many of them will win. To learn more about GOP women candidates you can support, check out AR Intel’s list highlighting five strong candidates below:
Rep. Barbara Comstock – Virginia’s 10th Congressional District
Comstock is locked in a tough battle with liberal Democrat Jennifer Wexton. The pair faced off in a debate last month, and Comstock demonstrated her “mastery of local concerns,” as the Washington Post put it. On the other hand, The Post noted that Wexton often read from note cards during the debate and “occasionally stumbled” through answers.
Comstock has worked hard to close the gap with Wexton from a June poll that showed the Democrat 10 points up. A poll released Tuesday showed Wexton ahead by just 6 points. But that result is actually within the poll’s margin of error, which was reported as between 5.1 and 7.2 percentage points.
To donate to Comstock’s campaign, click here.
Rep. Claudia Tenney – New York’s 22nd Congressional District
Tenney is a freshman congresswoman running for reelection in a toss-up district. While Trump won the district by 15 points in 2016, Gov. Mitt Romney defeated President Obama by less than a percentage point in 2012. The Cook Political Report gives the district an R+6 rating, and Tenney won her seat by a five-point margin last cycle.
Tenney has aligned herself with President Trump, who came to her district for a fundraiser in August.
Tenney is facing Democrat Anthony Brindisi, who did not face a challenger in the primary. Brindisi has been a strong fundraiser, but Tenney was able to pull in $1 million during the second quarter of 2018. Tenney argues she has been outspent in previous campaigns but prevails because she’s focused on grassroots efforts.
To help Tenney’s campaign with a donation, click here.
Maria Elvira Salazar – Florida’s 27th Congressional District
Salazar is running to replace long-time Miami congresswoman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Many assumed when Ros-Lehtinen announced her retirement that the district would automatically go to Democrats, but Salazar has run an impressive campaign. Voters in the district are likely familiar with her, as she previously worked for a local TV station, MegaTV, as well as Telemundo and CNN En Español. About 57 percent of the district’s registered voters are Latino, and as the New York Times notes, “Most of them are Cuban-American, as is Ms. Salazar.”
Salazar is facing former HHS Secretary under President Clinton, Donna Shalala, who also served as president of the University of Miami. Shalala’s entrance into the Democratic primary scared away some strong candidates, but her lackluster campaign has not inspired confidence in her party’s leadership.
Salazar’s internal polling shows her leading Shalala. To support Salazar’s campaign visit her campaign website here.
Mimi Walters – California’s 45th Congressional District
Walters first won this Orange County seat in 2014 and is facing perhaps her toughest challenge yet in Democrat Katie Porter. The district is just narrowly Republican, according to the Cook Political Report, but Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016. Inside Elections rates the race as a toss-up.
Former President Obama attended a rally in support of Porter and other southern California Democrats last month.
A recent Democrat-sponsored poll showed Walters and Porter virtually tied, 47-48.
To contribute to Walters’ campaign, click here.
Diane Harkey – California’s 49th Congressional District
Harkey is facing off against Democrat Mike Levin in this San Diego-based district. The two are competing for the seat that will be vacated by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa. They also have competing endorsements – Harkey’s from President Trump and Levin’s from former President Obama.
During a recent debate, Levin was backed into a corner on the topic of impeachment when he was forced to say he’s not necessarily seeking impeachment, but “justice and the truth.” During that same debate, Harkey reiterated her support for Trump’s border wall, saying it’s “a necessity” to keep criminals and gang members out of the U.S.
To support Harkey’s campaign, click here.