Women seeking to reelect themselves face new challenges with the help of maps

Saturday, May 21, 2022
author picture Hugo Bertrand
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mary miller congressional districts democratic rep marie newman u s house of representatives kelly dittmar redistricting incumbents <strong>Women</strong> seeking to reelect themselves face new challenges with the help maps

CHICAGO‚ (AP) -- Democrats retake the U.S. House of Representatives thanks to a record performance by Democratic Women candidates in 2018. A record-breaking number of GOP Women were elected to seats in 2018‚ bringing the total number of female members of the chamber up to an all time high. But for some female incumbents. Running for reelection this year's challenge is to hold their seats: the redrawn congressional district that makes it harder for them to win. Redistricting‚ a once in a decade process where boundaries are drawn based on Census data and then redrawn to create similar-sized districts. This is because many states still have not finalized their maps. It is too soon to determine how many female representatives were affected by redistricting. The Center for American Women in Politics‚ Rutgers University discovered that more than 12 Women are currently running in areas with significantly harder terrain in the states where new districts have been drawn. This is more than twice the amount of Women who live in districts where it will be much easier to win following redistricting. The analysis was done as of the beginning this month. Some female members are running for reelection against incumbents who have been serving longer -- or against one another‚ as is the case in Georgia's Tuesday primary. Democratic Women incumbents face off. The new maps are going to be an important factor in whether or not Women will increase their representation in Congress in order for it to better reflect the country's makeup‚ which is a goal both sides have worked hard on. Current representation of female members of Congress is about 28% out of 435 House Members‚ while Democratic Women hold roughly three times as many seats than GOP women. Kelly Dittmar is the director of research at the center. Many of these Women are vulnerable as they have just been elected. Swing districts are areas that tend to be more susceptible to switching from one party or the other. They often win in these swing districts. Dittmar stated that 2022 will be an important year for understanding how the newly elected Women fare. Illinois lost a seat to redistricting due to its declining population. The two states' first-term female representative -- one Democrat and one Republican -- were the biggest losers of the 18-member delegation in states remapping. Democratic mapmakers created new boundaries to place Democratic Rep. Marie Newman (Democratic Rep.) and Republican Rep. Mary Miller in districts that were already represented by male incumbents. Both Women opted to contest in nearby districts against men. House members don't have to reside in their district‚ but most do. Newman‚ a progressive‚ was able to unseated Rep. Dan Lipinski in 2020. Lipinski is one of last anti-abortion Democrats on Congress. The Illinois legislatures dismantled the Chicago area district that she was representing and created a new district that is predominantly Hispanic to reflect changes in population. Two-term Democratic Rep. Sean Casten was elected to represent Newmans' district. Newman's house and area around it were where her performance was the best. She moved into the district that is heavily Hispanic‚ represented by Democratic Rep. Jesus Chuy Garcia. Newman stated that this was something she took personally. It was the payback‚ she believes. She told the crowd at this month's fundraiser that a lot corporations and establishment people still seem mad at her. Newman stated that Democratic legislators who created the map felt Newman was inexpensive because she was recently elected. Newman stated that it was crucial to have more Women elected as Congressmen‚ particularly in a moment when the rights of abortion are at risk. Roe v. Wade was the landmark 1973 ruling that allowed abortion to be legalized nationwide. The U.S. Supreme Court will likely overturn it. Unqualified people can't be in that room. However‚ you can't have an unqualified person in there. Newman recently published a campaign advertisement in which she discussed having an abortion when she was 19. It is very likely that if we had 50-100 more Women in Congress or in the Senate‚ this would not have happened. (Roe would be codified and irreversible). Not all Women are in favor of codifying or making federal laws regarding the right to vote. Abortion. Miller is one of the House's most ferocious opponents. She claimed that she was inspired to run in her seat in southern Illinois by former President Donald Trump. Miller was drawn to the same congressional district with Mike Bost (a conservative Republican who Trump ran for in 2018). Miller chose to contest his opponent‚ five-term Republican Rep. Rodney Davis. Davis supported the bipartisan commission that would investigate the January 6th insurrection at Washington's Capitol. Trump has supported Miller. Another Republican woman‚ Rep. Yvette Hrrell‚ was also a victim of a partisan remap. The Democrats in control of the Legislature redrew Her district in New Mexico's southern portion to make it significantly Democratic. Dittmar stated that redistricting had a negative impact on Women more than it did on male incumbents. Many of these men face difficult elections. Women are sometimes being challenged in some instances by incumbents who were drawn against their advantage. Michigan's Democratic Rep. Andy Levin‚ a Democratic Representative‚ chose to challenge Rep. Haley Stevens instead of running in his safe Democratic District. Georgia's female incumbents will be eliminated from the race for another term following Tuesday's primary. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Lucy McBath are representatives Both flipped the long-held GOP districts in Atlanta in recent elections. After McBath's state Legislature was reded to favor Republicans in McBath‚ McBath lost his seat and the incumbent won the race to replace Bourdeaux who is now running for the second term. He chose to face Bourdeaux in a district that is more Democrat-friendly. The shakeup is proving beneficial for some women. Oklahoma's GOP Rep. Stephanie Bices District was created to make it significantly more Republican. It had been held previously by Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn. It is often familiar territory for candidates who are facing tougher elections. Newman stated‚ "I just need to prove my self again." ___ For complete coverage on the midterms‚ follow AP https://apnewscom/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twittercom/ap_politics