A record number of women are running for governor this year

Gretchen Whitmer.
(Image credit: Facebook/Gretchen Whitmer)

A record number of women are planning to run for governor in 2018, with four women in the race in Ohio alone, The Washington Post reports. While the previous record for women running for governor in a single year was 34 in 1994, 2018 is on track to see at least 79 women vying for the honor of leading their state, the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University found.

Donald Trump's presidency is credited as one of the motivating factors for women tossing in their hats into the ring — "there is a sense that if we don't run, then we won't achieve," said Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer. Yet while most of the women running in 2018 are Democrats, with 49 so far, another 30 Republican women are running too. In Tennessee, three women are competing against two men for the GOP nomination in a state that has never had a female gubernatorial nominee from a major party, Slate reports.

Despite the impressive number of female 2018 candidates, there could still be a long road ahead. "When a woman is running to be the CEO of her state, our research shows that voters need more evidence to believe that she is prepared to do the job than it takes for them to believe that of a man," said Barbara Lee, whose foundation promotes women in politics. "People have become more comfortable with a woman at the table. They're still not as comfortable having a woman in charge." Read more about why women are jumping into gubernatorial races in 2018 at The Washington Post.

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