In the 2020 election cycle, House Republicans have their work cut out for them. Sitting currently as the House Minority, even more elbow grease is required to flip blue seats red. Fortunately, there are more Republican women than ever currently seeking office. The National Republican Congressional Committee has come out with a list of 55 offensive target races to watch this year. Please consider donating to some of these target races this year by either contributing to candidates directly or through the NRCC which support their campaigns. If you cannot donate, see if any of these races are near you or in your own Congressional district. Volunteers are always welcome.

Out of these target races, very few are uniquely poised to present Democrat women incumbents against Republican women challengers. Since primaries occur during different times across the country, it is difficult to pinpoint official challenger candidates at present. This list will present the races where the most likely challenger is a Republican woman. 

According to the Cook political report, the Congressional districts mentioned here are categorized as toss up, lean democratic, and likely democratic. The task in front of these Republican women is no easy feat, they have an uphill battle in the coming months to take back the House. 

Georgia-06 “Toss Up:” +1 Democrat 2018 

Freshman Representative Lucy McBath has a serious contender in Former Congresswoman Karen Handel in this Atlanta suburbs district. McBath, a staunch gun control advocate, must defend her new title from the more experienced Handel. This seat has historically been Republican, a legacy Handel seeks to maintain. All other Republican candidates have ended their campaigns before the primaries, set to occur at the end of March.

Unfortunately, Handel’s war chest is seriously trailing that of McBath. Representative McBath is both an incumbent as well as a nationwide media personality which gives her a home court advantage reflected in her reports. If you are in the sixth district of Georgia or wish to learn more about Former Congresswoman Handel, visit her website. This district has a good likelihood of getting taken back by Republicans. More importantly, this district is seen as a weathervane for how suburbs will vote in the presidential and in the future.

Iowa-01 “Toss Up” +5 Democrat 2018

In another “toss up” district, Freshman Representative Abby Finkenauer will have to defend her new seat from former Cedar Rapids anchor and Iowa State Representative Ashley Hinson. Both these candidates are incredibly young women, each under 40. Finkenauer barely scraped by in 2018, campaigning heavily on a pro-union platform in this East Iowa district. Hinson is taking a new approach, announcing her candidacy via Twitter video this May. Her platform is pro-family, anti-socialism, and anti-taxation. 

Regrettably, Hinson’s late campaign announcement has cost her: Finkenauer’s budget as of Q3 is almost double that of Hinson. In addition, similar to AOC, Miss Finkenauer has media attention for being under 30 and incredibly left-wing. Unlike the Presidential primary, the Congressional primary is not set to occur until late in the game, June 20th. Hinson is set to obtain more votes from her district in the Presidential, however, especially when considering how pro-Trump IA-01 voted in 2016. In addition, recent Iowa caucus controversy surrounding the Democrat primaries may give Hinson a supportive push.

Florida-27 “Likely Democratic” +6 Democrat 2018

Veteran South Florida Representative Donna Shalala is in for quite the campaign with Maria Elvira Salazar, former Telemundo anchor and first-generation American. Salazar was instilled with strong anti-socialist views from her Cuban immigrant parents, views she carries into her campaign. A graduate of journalism at Harvard and a five-time Emmy winner, Maria famously interviewed and challenged Fidel Castro on national television. Shalala, on the other hand, has served in both the Carter and Clinton administrations and is one of the longest serving members of Congress. 

Florida 27 is gearing up to be one of the most exciting Congressional races in the country this year. Florida is somewhat of a toss-up politically, particularly this densely populated Miami-based district. Fundraising reports so far obviously favor the incumbent, Representative Shalala. However, Salazar outperformed Shalala in the third quarter by almost $200,000. This is one to watch.

New Jersey-11 “Lean Democratic” +15 Democrat 2018

New Jersey’s 11th Congressional district is right in the middle of the state, taking up lots of real estate. In an incredibly recent announcement, Rosemary Becchi of New Jersey has changed her seat from NJ-07 to NJ-11 after a personal invitation from House Leader McCarthy. She has more than 25 years of experience in a non-profit she spearheaded called Jersey First, which offers policy solutions to lower taxes and improve quality of life in New Jersey.

Mikie Sherrill, the incumbent, is a U.S. Navy veteran and Merchant Marine Academy Board Member. Her platform is decidedly pro-veteran, but also for gun control and socialized healthcare. Sherrill is enjoying her incumbent advantage in her fundraising with almost $2.5M in her campaign currently. Becchi, however, as a successful businesswoman, has done a good amount of self-funding. This is one of the most affluent districts in the country, normally coming in as an R+3 district. Rosemary Becchi has a good chance to get this race up and running.

Disclaimer: as these and other races unfold, so does the battlefield. These are only four of the 55 target offensive races presented by the National Republican Congressional Committee. There are so many qualified Republican women candidates this election year, sometimes many vying for one available spot. Handel, Hinson, Salazar, and Becchi have the greatest likelihood to pass the primary and represent the GOP in the general this November.

Jasmine Skye M