Future Majority Project and Right Women, Right Now Initiatives Help Elect 160 Female and 20 Diverse Republican Down Ballot Candidates

charlieNews, Press, RSLC News

TO:                      Interested Parties

FROM:                Neri Martinez, Executive Director, Future Majority Project

DATE:                 November 26th, 2018

RE:                      Future Majority Project and Right Women, Right Now Update

FMP/RWRN 2018 Summary

Since 2011, when the Republican State Leadership Committee’s (RSLC) Future Majority Project (FMP) and Right Women, Right Now (RWRN) initiatives were launched, the RSLC has helped elect over 120 new diverse and over 665 new women legislators into office. As of 2016, these successes expanded to all 50 states and we continued to grow this midterm. These candidates represent the full diversity of our party and nation. The strength of their leadership was instrumental in helping Republicans continue to control 62 out of 99 legislative chambers, 25 of 45 Lt. Governors, and at least 27 of 51 Secretaries of State including Puerto Rico. Through the FMP and RWRN initiatives, the RSLC has invested nearly $30 million, including $8 million in the 2017-2018 cycle alone, to build the future of the Republican Party.

Elections Update

In a historic year for women, minority, and gay candidates, we saw over 200 diverse and over 1000 women run for state-level office on the Republican ticket. While the RSLC supported hundreds of great Republican candidates across the country, we chose to feature 90 of these outstanding individuals in five rounds of our “18 in ‘18” Races to Watch lists.

This cycle, we invested over $8 million to help FMP and RWRN candidates gain or maintain their seats. In total, over 160 new Republican women won their seats in 45 states and 65 chambers, and at least 20 new diverse candidates won their seats in 12 states and 14 chambers. Of these history-making winners, 33 candidates were featured in one of our “18 in ‘18” Races to Watch lists.

Candidate Spotlight

The FMP and RWRN initiatives helped a number of candidates make election history in a year where a record number of diverse and women candidates ran on the Republican ticket. We are proud of these trailblazers and their leadership.

Statewide “Trailblazers”

In one of the most hotly contested statewide elections of the night, former Florida Speaker Pro Tempore Jeanette Nuñez became the first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor and statewide elected official in her state’s history and only the second Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor in the country, both of them being Republican.

In the traditionally deep blue state of Maryland, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford won re-election and remains the second Republican African-American Lieutenant Governor in the country along with Jenean Hampton in Kentucky, an FMP co-chair.

In South Carolina, businesswoman Pamela Evette became the first female Republican Lieutenant Governor in the state’s history.

In Idaho, former state legislator, Janice McGeachin became the first female Lieutenant Governor in the state’s history.

In one of the most competitive battlegrounds of the election, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske won her re-election and is the only Republican elected statewide in Nevada. 

State Legislative “Majority Makers” and Historical Firsts

In Alaska, RWRN candidates, Sarah Vance and Sara Rasmussen, flipped control of two seats that will allow the election of a Republican Speaker of the House, a flip from Democrat control last session.

In Arizona, Walt Blackman became the first African-American elected to the House of Representatives in an important win for Republicans to continue to control the chamber. In Florida, Republicans elected seven new FMP and RWRN candidates to the state Senate and state House and flipped two Democrat-held seats with the successes of Anthony Rodriguez and Elizabeth Fetterhoff.

In Hawai’i, Kurt Fevella won his election to state Senate district 19, giving Republicans a seat in the chamber.

The Rhode Island Senate gained its first FMP female legislator, Jessica De La Cruz, who flipped a seat in district 23.

Even in the blue state of Oregon, Republicans elected four new women including “18 in ‘18” candidate, Christine Drazan, to the state House.

In crucial holds for previous “Races to Watch” candidates, FMP Board members George Logan and Ralph Alvarado were both re-elected to targeted seats in the Connecticut Senate and the Kentucky Senate, respectively. In the Massachusetts Senate, Dean Tran held his seat after winning in a 2017 special election.

Much has been noted about the historic increase in youth turnout and minority political engagement this cycle but it should be noted that Republicans continued to elect a new generation of millennial diverse leaders this cycle too.

In West Virginia, 18-year-old African-American Delegate-Elect Caleb Hanna flipped a seat in the House of Delegates to become the youngest member in the chamber.

In Oklahoma, millennial Representative-Elect Daniel Pae won a seat in the state House to become the first Korean-American and youngest member in the chamber.

Building the GOP Bench

The FMP and RWRN recruitment and support initiatives have always been focused on the short-term and long-term goals of both winning elections today and building the bench for tomorrow. Previous RSLC women and diverse leaders made an enormous impact these midterms and we are proud of their continued success.

Former Lieutenant Governors Kim Reynolds and Kay Ivey are now both the first elected female Governors of Iowa and Alabama, respectively, making history after holding onto the gubernatorial offices they had both stepped into last year.

As the RSLC has continued to emphasize, candidates matter. The Future Majority Project and Right Women, Right Now’s proactive and visionary recruitment and investment initiatives have helped the RSLC make significant gains in states with candidates that fit the district while representing the full diversity of our party and our nation.