Women up and down the ballot continue to make strides toward political representation in this country. Although there is a growing number of female elected leaders, significant structural and policy changes are still necessary to achieve gender parity. Women’s History Month is an important opportunity to consider the significant contributions that women have made to history. But, it is equally critical to acknowledge that there is still a long way to go toward reaching true gender parity in all spheres, including politics. Counting the House of Representatives and the Senate, women make up 153 of 540 voting and nonvoting members of Congress. That represents a 59% increase from the 96 women serving in the 112th Congress a decade ago, though it remains far below women’s share of the overall U.S. population (Source).
For policies and programs to be inclusive and responsive to the interests of all members of society, not just a select few, it is crucial to elect women candidates for government leadership positions. This way, we can ensure to represent different perspectives and that critical issues like equal pay, reproductive rights, and gender-based violence receive the attention they deserve by electing more women candidates. While the number of women in elected office may be on the rise, that hasn’t necessarily translated into more power. It’s time to recognize the value of women’s voices in defining the future of communities across the country and to engage actively to create a more equal and just society.
DSPolitical proudly collaborates with incredible clients, candidates, and partners to achieve unprecedented victories for women up and down the ballot. In 2022, given the negative historical trends of midterm elections for parties in power, we were all the more proud of our role in stopping a red wave, reaching record Democratic turnout, flipping key races from red to blue, and helping to power diverse candidates. With more Democratic women running for office than ever, DSPolitical is honored to help power them to victory. Here is data on our impact during the 2022 election:
- 669 women ran for office
- 202 women of color ran for office
- 399 women elected
- 170 women elected to State Legislature
- 79 women ran for Congress
- 55 women elected to Congress
Celebrating Big Wins for Women
2022 was also a year of celebration for the DSPolitical Ad Grant Program. We awarded $100,000 to 17 ambitious candidates nationwide, from state legislators to city council members. In honor of Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate the incredible women who were grant recipients and who have helped shape history with their wins.
Katie Muth won re-election to the Pennsylvania State Senate to represent District 44! She was first elected to the state senate in 2018, winning a longshot campaign against a longtime Republican incumbent.
Elaine Marzola won her reelection bid to represent District 21 in Nevada’s State Assembly! After graduating from law school, Elaine served as a judicial law clerk. Working for a judge, Elaine was able to learn first-hand how the justice system works and to understand the importance of a strong advocate representing clients to get them the justice they deserve.
Erica Dominguez won her race as Judge for Bexar County Court at Law No. 6 in San Antonio, Texas! She served in the U.S. Air Force and has been with the Bexar County Public Defender’s Office for seven years. In 2018, she became the defense attorney for the Mental Health Court, a specialty court in County Court 12, where post-adjudicated participants engaged in mental health services and substance abuse treatment to complete a term of probation.
Heather Bauer became State House representative for South Carolina’s District 75! Heather was a first-time candidate with experience as an I.T. manager and small business owner. While Heather initially moved to South Carolina for the weather, she stayed for the people.
Lina Hidalgo won her race for Harris County Judge in Houston, Texas! She is the first woman and Latina elected to this position in the nation’s third-largest county. Lina Hidalgo has sought to approach public safety with data-driven, results-oriented governing, considering all variables affecting a community’s safety and well-being. We know she’ll do a great job serving her community.
Nabilah Islam is the latest member-elect of the Georgia State Senate, representing District 7! As the first South Asian, one of the first Muslim women, and the youngest person ever elected to this office, Nabilah is another Grants Recipient to make history in their race. In 2020, she served as a Senior Advisor to the Gwinnett Democratic Party, helping to turn Georgia blue and elect President Joe Biden. During the critical Senate runoffs, she led an organization that knocked on over 34,000 doors, turning out Black and Brown voters across Gwinnett for Senators Ossoff and Warnock. She also led a historic effort to reach over 60,000 registered Muslim voters across the state.
Ruwa Romman will now officially represent District 97 in the Georgia House of Representatives! She is making history as one of Georgia’s first Muslim women in Georgia’s House and one of the first Palestinians ever elected to public office in the state! Ruwa’s platform centers on education, healthcare, economic opportunity, and voting rights.
Suzanne Harrison, MD, won her election to Salt Lake City Council At-Large in Utah! Being in a purple county surrounded by red made her race a toss-up, but Suzanne won and will go on to represent Salt Lake City! She brings a fresh perspective as a medical doctor who has served two terms in the state legislature representing District 32.
Tarah Probst is the newest Pennsylvania House of Representatives member, representing District 189! She has been the mayor of Stroudsburg for six years and recently won re-election with 70% of the vote. She wants to take her hard work, dedication, and principles to Harrisburg to serve better the people of the region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Read the full descriptions of all the winners in the Celebrating Big Wins Out of the DSPolitical 2022 Grants Program blog post.
Despite progress in the fight for gender equality, women still encounter substantial barriers in the political world. By electing women candidates to office and supporting their campaigns, we can help to overcome these barriers and create a more level playing field. To create a more equitable and welcoming society for all, we work towards gender parity in politics and support amazing female candidates.