Big gains for women in Congress, but the count is status quo for NJ
A record number of women are set to serve in the 117th U.S. Congress in 2021, according to the most recent data from The Center for American Women and Politics ,a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.
The center's associate director, Jean Sinzdak, noted at least 134 women will serve in the U.S. Congress in 2021, surpassing the previous record of 127 first set in 2019. According to the vote tallies known so far, 102 of those women are Democrats and 32 are Republicans, proving big gains for women in Congress.
Many states are still tabulating and collecting votes, leaving a handful of Senate and House races too close to call for now.
Republican women are close to breaking their record of 25 House members, set in 2006. Democratic women fell short of their previous record of 89 female House members, set in 2019. But overall, the largest proportion of women serving are Democratic.
In New Jersey, female representation remains status quo with only two women serving in Congress in 2021. Those are Mikie Sherrill and Bonnie Watson Coleman, both Democrats.
To get more women interested in politics, Sinzdak said, the key is recruitment — more focus on getting women involved and keeping them more involved in politics. It'll take supporting them as much as possible, she said, and there are plenty of women who are ready and willing to jump into races.
"I would urge the political parties to keep recruiting women," Sinzdak said. "We were encouraged of this progress particularly for Republican women in Congress because we can't get to parity unless we have women on both sides of the aisle increasing their numbers."