Some names to remember as the political year unfolds: Abby Finkenauer, Debra Haaland and Mary Gay Scanlon. Finkenauer, a 28-year-old state legislator, is the Democratic nominee to take on Rep. Rod Blum in Iowa’s First District. The race is considered a tossup, and if she wins, Finkenauer would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo and a solid favorite in New Mexico’s First District, would be the first Native American woman to serve in the House.Scanlon, a lawyer specializing in education issues, should win an open seat in suburban Philadelphia and integrate Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, which is currently all male.These three pioneers reflect a critical storyline in this year’s elections. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to take control of the House, and their hopes rest heavily on the energy and enthusiasm of women.The primary season is not finished, but political scientist David Hopkins of Boston College concludes, “It’s apparent enough by now that we are witnessing a dramatic and historic change in the gender distribution among Democratic congressional nominees.”On the federal level, these women candidates are largely Democrats, but on the state level, Republican women are also making inroads…. Read full this story
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