Quick Facts on the 16 Republican Women Who Came Up Big in Their 2020 Congressional Races


Conservative women seem to have run the table on election night, carrying the Republican Party to a series of unexpected gains in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

According to Susan B. Anthony List, at least 16 new female members of the GOP have seen House races called in their favor since polls closed on Nov. 3, with eight flipping seats in the process.

Early results indicate another five are also positioned well within striking distance, as remaining ballots are counted from California to Texas to central New York.

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In anticipation of the 117th Congress, here is a glance at the fresh batch of Republican women set to be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2021:

Michelle Steel of California’s 48th Congressional District

West Coast conservative women scored a rare win this cycle with Michelle Steel. A South Korean immigrant and career public servant, she has served her Newport Beach district as a financial hawk, opposing new taxes from the California State Board of Equalization to the Orange County Board of Supervisors to the congressional campaign trail.

Steel led her incumbent Democratic opponent Rep. Harley Rouda by a 2-percentage-point margin of nearly 8,000 votes at the time of his Tuesday concession.

Lauren Boebert of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District

Hard-line restaurant owner Lauren Boebert was another candidate leading the charge for liberty-minded women last week.

Described by The New York Times as a “Glock-wearing conservative firebrand,” the political newcomer and mother of four drew national attention earlier this year for confronting former Democratic presidential primary candidate Beto O’Rourke over his gun control plan. She went on to unseat five-term Republican incumbent Scott Tipton in his West Colorado district during a primary of her own this past July.

Boebert was declared the winner of her general election race on Nov. 4 and currently holds a 5.9-percentage-point lead of roughly 25,000 votes over her opponent, Diane Mitsch Bush.

Kat Cammack of Florida’s 3rd Congressional District

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In the swing state of Florida, self-described “constitutional conservative” Kat Cammack also earned the title of congresswoman, running on an unabashedly pro-life platform.

“I am pro-life and I will fight to protect the unborn at all costs,” she said in a personal statement for Ballotpedia. “Life begins at conception and I will never waver in my advocacy on this incredibly important issue. As a young, pro-life woman, I will have a unique opportunity to advocate for the unborn on Capitol Hill in a way that will speak directly to younger voters.”

Cammack has routed Democratic competitor Adam Christensen thus far, leading by a more than 14-percentage-point margin of roughly 56,000 votes with 90 percent of precincts reporting.

Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida’s 27th Congressional District

Further south in the Miami metropolitan area, another conservative woman won out in Maria Elvira Salazar.

Salazar’s parents fled communist oppression in Cuba under Fidel Castro for their daughter to live the American dream. Raised in Puerto Rico and Miami, Salazar went on to graduate from the University of Miami and Harvard on her own dime before working as a journalist at home and abroad with CNN Español. Her life experience has led her to fundamentally reject socialism.

Salazar carried a more than 2-percentage-point lead over incumbent Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala at the time of this report, creating a nearly 10,000-vote buffer.

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District

In the contested Republican stronghold of Georgia, family woman and blue-collar business owner Marjorie Taylor Greene similarly won out on strong anti-socialist sentiment.

A public supporter of the “QAnon” conspiracy theory, Greene faced substantial pushback from the party in her primary and has since been panned by the establishment media for her controversial rhetoric. She also spoke in no uncertain terms on the topics of abortion and border security throughout the campaign.

Greene seems to have won out in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District by an astounding margin, besting Democratic opponent Kevin Van Ausdal by nearly 50 percentage points.

Mary Miller of Illinois’ 15th Congressional District

Running on the simple Pence family platform of “faith, family and freedom,” Mary Miller kept rural Southeast Illinois in Republican hands last week.

Miller was born and raised in the area, receiving a business management degree in-state before going on to run the family farm with her husband for four decades. A churchgoing Christian, she lists “Sanctity of Human Life” as the first priority issue on her official campaign website.

Miller seems to have left Democratic nominee Erika Weaver just 30 percent of the electorate in Illinois’ 15th Congressional District, leading by a more than 40-percentage-point margin of roughly 140,000 votes at the time of this report.

Victoria Spartz of Indiana’s 5th Congressional District

Another conservative woman to fend off Democratic efforts to expand their House coalition was Victoria Spartz of Indiana, who experts widely expected to fall on Election Day, according to The Indianapolis Star.

She was born and raised abroad, but became a naturalized citizen following her marriage to a lifelong Midwesterner, going on to establish a strong record of opposition to tax increases, regulatory expansion and gun control during her time as a state senator.

Spartz claimed more than 200,000 votes on Election Day, leading her opponent by roughly 4 percentage points as the district approached the end of the ballot counting process.

Ashley Hinson of Iowa’s 1st Congressional District

Mother, state lawmaker and former broadcast journalist Ashley Hinson was one of several conservative women to flip a more recently Democratic district.

The candidate reclaimed northeast Iowa for the Republican Party, running on rhetoric reminiscent of Donald Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign, which stressed economic revival, border security and a robust infrastructure plan.

Hinson led incumbent Rep. Abby Finkenauer by a more than 2-percentage-point margin of nearly 11,000 votes at the time of this report.

Lisa McClain of Michigan’s 10th Congressional District

Another candidate to ride to victory on a platform similar to that of the president was Lisa McClain. With a wealth of financial expertise, from the world of big business to the world of charity, she ran as a “conservative outsider” for Congress, promising infrastructure spending and voicing support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

McClain nearly doubled the support of her Democratic opponent Kimberly Bizon, leading the race for Michigan’s 10th Congressional District by a nearly 33-percentage-point margin of at least 133,000 votes Wednesday.

Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District

Blue-state Democrats were also dealt a blow by Michelle Fischbach this cycle, losing a Western Minnesota seat not held by the Republican Party since before the turn of the century.

Up against mounting odds, the underdog former lieutenant governor did not water down her message, however, touting top ratings from prominent pro-life and Second Amendment special interests on the campaign trail.

Fischbach seems to have bested incumbent 15-term Rep. Collin Peterson handily, with a 13-percentage-point margin of more than 46,000 votes at the time of this report.

Yvette Herrell of New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District

The 2020 presidential election was also a proving ground for previously defeated conservative women, with Yvette Herrell claiming a Democratic seat in Southern New Mexico.

A former state legislator, Herrell lost the district just two years earlier in a neck-in-neck race. Returning with a nearly identical platform focused on economic deregulation, middle-class tax cuts and workforce development, however, the candidate pulled out a substantial victory this time around.

Herrell led incumbent Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small by a 7.8-percentage-point margin of more than 20,000 votes as of Wednesday afternoon.

Nicole Malliotakis of New York’s 11th Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Max Rose was yet another Democrat to suffer an ouster on Election Day, with local Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis reclaiming a seat controlled by Republicans not long ago.

New York’s 11th Congressional District was lost to Rose in 2018, after Republican Rep. Daniel Donovan failed to keep the electorate fired up in the years that followed GOP predecessor Michael Grimm’s massive tax fraud scheme and subsequent resignation. The staunch conservatism of this year’s Republican nominee for the seat was expected to force the race down to the wire, with local voter fraud investigations threatening to complicate matters further.

Malliotakis still managed to declare reclamation efforts complete on Nov. 5, however, carrying a more than 15-percentage-point margin of roughly 37,000 votes with 85 percent of precincts reporting.

Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District

Public servant Stephanie Bice came out with a similarly substantial win in urban Oklahoma, ending a brief blue stint in the state’s capital.

The state senator has been a local party superstar since stepping into the political scene just six years ago, helping to craft several major pieces of legislation, including a state liquor policy overhaul that created an estimated 5,000 jobs. A devout Catholic, Bice ran first and foremost on the pro-life agenda, rather than economic policy.

Bice led incumbent Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn by a 4.2-percentage-point margin of nearly 13,000 votes at the time of this report.

Nancy Mace of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District

Another pro-life candidate to turn a blue district from deep in the trenches this cycle was Nancy Mace.

Familiar with the fight, Mace was the first woman to graduate from The Military College of South Carolina as a member of the Corps of Cadets in 1999. She would go on to earn a masters degree in mass communications from the University of Georgia in 2004, kickstarting a career in corporate technology consulting and real estate before taking her financial expertise to the state assembly, where she has been heralded as one of the most fiscally conservative members.

Mace seems to have just snuck out her victory over incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham, with a 1.2-percentage-point buffer of fewer than 6,000 votes at the time of this report.

Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District

Heartland pharmacist Diana Harshbarger also saw success on Nov. 3, ensuring the grit-and-grace image traditionally broadcast by conservative women on the campaign trail was not left off the podium this cycle.

A first-generation college graduate and business owner for roughly three decades, Harshbarger ran her campaign “Tennessee Tough,” pushing border security, term limits and the Second Amendment to the top of her policy platform in one of Tennessee’s most solid Republican strongholds.

Harshbarger left little on the table for opponent Blair Walsingham, boasting a wide 52.4-percentage-point lead of more than 159,000 votes as of Wednesday.

Beth Van Duyne of Texas’ 24th Congressional District

Despite concerns of a blue wave in the Lone Star State, local politician Beth Van Duyne also managed to help cement a stronger Republican caucus in the House with a win in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Running an unorthodox conservative campaign, Van Duyne focused in on health care, government corruption and complex issues of national security on the campaign trail. A single mother, she was the first female mayor of Irving, Texas, having left home before the age of 17 to put herself through college.

Van Duyne was declared victorious Tuesday, stonewalling an impassioned Democratic effort to flip Texas’ 24th Congressional District with a 1.3-percentage-point lead of less than 5,000 votes in light of opponent Candace Valenzuela’s concession.

Other Conservative Women To Keep an Eye Out For

Young Kim of California, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa and Claudia Tenney of New York also stand to expand the number of pro-life women on Capitol Hill, with legal challenges and recounts still ongoing in the 2020 presidential election.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.