Get to Know These 13 Women Fighting for Senate Seats
A record number of women are competing for positions in the United States Senate, and of the 34 open Senate seats this year, female incumbents hold three.
Thirteen of these women are new challengers. Inspired by a Mother Jones article, here are some of their thoughts on being a woman in politics, and the goals they each have if elected to the Senate.
Ann Kirkpatrick | Democrat, Arizona
“I want to be a role model for my daughters, but also for other young women.”
"I really have a vision for building a strong, diverse, stable economy in Arizona…There are vast places in rural Arizona, especially the tribal lands, that do not have high-speed internet. And it's affecting education, health care, and certainly the ability to attract businesses…. I want to rebuild the Arizona school system into a center of excellence and education that's recognized across the country."
Kamala Harris | Democrat, California
“As a female prosecutor, let alone a woman of color, there have definitely been moments where people said, 'No, you can't do that.' Well, I eat 'no' for breakfast...My work has been about fighting for the vulnerable and voiceless, and making our state a safe, equitable place for all families to live and thrive. I'm ready to take that fight to Washington. We need more leaders who will fight to get real results for our families."
Loretta Sanchez | Democrat, California
“I've been in the House for 20 years. I was Latina, I was a woman, I was 36 — I think I was the youngest woman when I began. I could just tell they weren't listening to what I was saying… they felt like it was a women's issue, this is all women think about. Of course it's not, but if we don't bring up the issues, they probably never will."
Tammy Duckworth | Democrat, Illinois
"When I first ran, being a woman in politics was seen as both a negative and also a positive. You could attract more women voters, but on the other hand, a lot of men wouldn't vote for you. I'm the only woman in either the House and the Senate who has actually seen real combat action."
“I've worked on federal procurement reform, the Armed Services Committee, manufacturing, and women's health care. I've worked to get rooms in all airports to have breast-pumping and nursing stations for working moms. In the Senate, you can become one of the nation's leading voices on the issues."
Patty Judge | Democrat, Iowa
"I jumped in this race because I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of direction and the lack of listening to constituents. I'm the only woman that's ever been elected secretary of agriculture. The first time I was elected was in 1992, and even then I was not going to let [sexism] stop me. I was determined to work harder and prove people wrong if they thought I couldn't do a job because of my gender.”
Caroline Fayard | Democrat, Louisiana
"My experiences working more collaboratively and collectively in more female-dominated environments, there's a little more sharing the space that goes on."
"In Louisiana, over half of our women are single family breadwinners. So they are working very hard — they're working for the lowest amount of money in the country based on the gender wage gap. I've taken the Equal Pay Pledge and promised to donate 35 percent of my take-home pay as the next United States senator from Louisiana to Louisiana-centered charities that are focused on women and children.”
Kathy Szeliga | Republican, Maryland
"I would say that women bring a different perspective to the table, and it is so important that we have a seat at the table. And that our ideas are a part of the process of making laws. I would like to sit down with some reasonable, thoughtful people and formulate a plan to balance our budget and eventually pay off this debt.”
Catherine Cortez Masto | Democrat, Nevada
“I was already in the minority as a woman and a Latina. Most of my peers were white males—there were only probably eight or nine women. If you really want to get something done, you have to use your voice to fight for issues that are important for every segment of our community.”
“There have been comments made about my gender. I think that's something that was important for me to reflect on and talk about with young women who are looking for mentors or looking to have a path to success."
Wendy Long | Republican, New York
“I find it really insulting when people assume that because I'm a woman, I can only think one way in politics and I don't have an independent brain. Most people run for US Senate because they think it will be exciting or will make them a celebrity, or they like the idea of being in power. I am not motivated by any of these things.”
Maggie Hassan | Democrat, New Hampshire
“While I'm proud of our strong tradition of women in leadership positions in our state, we still need to do more to encourage women to seek out leadership positions. Washington has been captured by corporate special interests like the Koch brothers who stack the deck for themselves and against the middle class. I'm running for Senate to change that."
Deborah Ross | Democrat, North Carolina
“When no one's paying attention to what you're doing, that's when you can have the greatest impact. On this campaign trail, I see a net benefit to being a woman because people have opened up to me and welcomed me in a really positive way."
Katie McGinty | Democrat, Pennsylvania
“No one should have to choose between putting food on the table and getting the life-saving medical care they need. I'm running for the Senate to change that and to give Pennsylvania families the chance they need to not only make ends meet, but to get ahead. 2016 has the potential to be a huge, history-making, barrier-breaking year for women in politics, and I am so blessed to be a part of it."
Misty Snow | Democrat, Utah
"I'm a voice for working-class people, and at 31, if elected, I would be the first millennial in the Senate, so I'd be a voice for our generation. People need to realize they have more power than they think."
Photo Credit: Getty Images