DES MOINES, Iowa — Over the last eight years, the percentage of women running for a state or federal position has increased election by election.
According to the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, out of 217 candidates running for Federal and State Legislative offices this election, 36% are women. Back in 2016, 26% of those running for the exact same office were women.
“It’s sort of amazing when you think that it was just 2014 that Iowa elected its first woman to the U.S. Congress and that was Senator Joni Ernst,” said Dr. Karen Kedrowski, the Director of the Carrie Chapman Center for Women and Politics and Iowa State University. “And today, of course, we have two women at the top of the ticket in the major parties for governor. And out of the eight candidates who are running for the United States House of Representatives in the state, five of them are women.”
Kedrowski said that with more and more women running for office at the state and federal levels, there have been a lot of women specifically at one level of government.
“One of the places where we find women holding many elected positions are at the county level,” said Kedrowski. “We find, for example, overwhelmingly county recorders, which is a partisan elected office, are women. Same thing for county auditors. So, we find there are women elected officials who are getting really great experience.”
Kedrowski also said that it was important for young men and young women to see a female hold high elected positions.
There is also a party difference in gender at a Statehouse level. Out of 195 total candidates for either the Iowa House or Iowa State Senate, 36% are women. The Democratic party has 47.62% of its party candidates as women, where the Republican party has only 25% of its party candidates as women.