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Newly Elected New York Governor Kathy Hochul

With this year's midterms bringing historic victories for LGBTQ+ and Muslim American candidates, data reveals it was also a significant year for women in executive offices.

With this year's midterms bringing historic victories for LGBTQ+ and Muslim American candidates, data reveals it was also a significant year for women in executive offices.


As of 2023, there will be 12 women governors in the United States. While seemingly few, FiveThirtyEight reports that there have only been 45 woman governors in the history of the country, and only nine served at the same time.

Several states also made history by electing their first-ever woman governor, such as in Arkansas, Massachusetts, and New York. Both Arizona and Oregon saw two women compete for the position, with both Republican and Democratic parties choosing women candidates.

Of the 12 women governors, eight are Democrats with four Republicans. All of them are white, with the exception of Arizona governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. In 2023, 25 percent of governors will be women, as opposed to 18 percent this year. Currently, 30 of lawmakers in congress, nearly double the percentage of governors.

While governors positions are limited, this points to a larger trend of women facing roadblocks when running for executive offices. The office of governor is often a key step on the road for a politician to be elected President. With women disenfranchised from reaching state executive offices, the dream for a woman president may seem far away.

According to numerous studies, voters are less comfortable electing women as solo leaders as they are voting them into a group of representatives. Though this may be changing, as a recent study found Democratic voters support the idea of a woman president more than they have in previous years. With the amount of women in the office of governor in 2023, potential presidential bids in 2024 seem more than likely.

As for Congress, women didn't gain many seats, going from 27 percent of representatives this year to 30 percent in 2023. In 2018, a "blue wave" in the midterm elections saw Democrats flip a historic number of congressional seats. Of the seats flipped, 60 percent were Democratic women. As of now, 107 of the women in congress are Democrats, whereas 40 are Republicans. This year saw 49 women of color, and 2023 will see 55.

Both parties nominated less women in 2020 and 2022, though those who ran this year had a high success rate. We are likely to see more women in congress going forward, though they are far from being proportionally represented in government.

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