Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, winner of FL-20 OPEN SEAT, sworn in on January 18, 2005          2004
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KEY: OPEN SEATS are BlueGreen denotes an OPEN SEAT won by a woman (7 House), Red where a woman lost an OPEN SEAT (7 House, 3 senate), Purple denotes a challenge won by a woman (1).

KEY: OPEN SEATS (Blue) -- Green denotes seat woman by a woman (7), Red where a woman lost (


A. House:

1. There were 35 OPEN SEATS -- 7 won by women  for 20% plus one successful challenger. Thus 8 new members will be women (5D and 3 R), joining 57 incumbents (37 D, 20 R) who won re-election -- but as 3 women left, there is a net gain of five seats so far.

2. Nevertheless, there will be a record 65 women in the House  (42 D, 23 R)  -- plus 3 non-voting delegates from DC, Guam, and US Virgin Islands  for a grand total of 68 women.

3. 141 women ran in the general election -- but another 57 women lost primaries, including 17 for OPEN SEATS (see below). It has been suggested that: "What we need now are more women in competitive districts--districts where they can actually win." But what does that mean, party demographics or support from the political parties/groups that recruit or encourage candidates to run but then do not support them or even abandon the state? 

4. A gain of 5 seats does not, unfortunately, harken back to the infamous "Year of the Woman"(1992), when the total went from 28 to 42 (+14). In the 6 subsequent cycles, women gained just 23 seats. In 2004, the national percentage of seats held by women in both houses went from 14% to 15% (+5) -- that might move the US up from 61st to 59th in world for electing women to congress or parliament! 

5. Bottom line: A 19-seat gain per election cycle is needed for women to achieve gender balance in the US congress by 2020, the 100th anniversary of suffrage. Can we do it? Why not -- but we need a new, independent out-of-the-box paradigm to get us out of the stifling electoral box we are now in.

(Totals/results in some states deserve special attention, for example: In MA all 10 seats are held by Ds, none by women – and only one woman ran, an R defeated in the primaries. In NY, 20 of 29 seats are held by Ds, but only 5 by women, and a total of 10 ran. South Carolina has 8 seats, no women ran -- yet tried to elect a women to the US Senate.)

California-03. Former state Attorney General Dan Lungren (R) defeated Democratic nominee Gabe Castillo, 62 percent to 35 percent, in the race to replace retiring Rep. Doug Ose (R). (R Mary Ose lost primary)

California-20. Democrat Jim Costa beat Republican Roy Ashburn, 54 percent to 46 percent, in this open-seat contest to succeed retiring Rep. Cal Dooley (D). (D Lisa Quigley lost primary)

Colorado-03. Democrat John Salazar defeated Republican Greg Walcher, 51 percent to 46 percent, in this open-seat contest to succeed retiring Rep. Scott McInnis (R).

Florida-14. GOP nominee Connie Mack IV faced only nominal opposition and won 68 percent of the vote to replace former Rep. Porter Goss (R), who vacated his seat to become CIA director. (R Carol Green narrowly lost primary)

Florida-20. Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz beat GOP nominee Margaret Hostetter, 70 percent to 30 percent, in this open-seat race to replace Rep. Peter Deutsch (D), who ran unsuccessfully for his party's Senate nomination.

Georgia-04. Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) beat Catherine Davis (R) to take control of her former seat, 64 percent to 36 percent. (Ds Liane Levitan, Connie Stokes, Nadine Thomas, and Cathy Woolard lost primaries)

Georgia-06. Tom Price (R) faced only nominal opposition in the general election and won the seat vacated by Johnny Isakson (R), who ran for Senate.

Georgia-08. Lynn Westmoreland (R) defeated Silvia Delamar (D) in this open-seat contest to replace GOP Senate hopeful Mac Collins, 76 percent to 24 percent.

Illinois-03. Dan Lipinski (D) took ownership of the seat held by his father, Rep. William Lipinski (D), with 74 percent to 26 percent of the vote against Republican Ryan Chlada.

Illinois-08. Melissa Bean (D) defeated 17-term incumbent Rep. Philip Crane (R), 52 percent to 48 percent.

Kentucky-04. By a final vote of 54 percent to 44 percent, Geoff Davis (R) defeated Nick Clooney (D). (D Margaret Kannensohn withdrew)

Louisiana-01. With 78 percent of the vote, Bobby Jindal (R) defeated four Democrats and a Republican in this open-seat race to replace Rep. David Vitter, who successfully ran for Louisiana's open Senate seat. (D Charmaine Caccioppi lost primary)

Louisiana-03. Charlie Melancon (D) narrowly prevented Billy Tauzin III (R) from replacing his 12-term father in the December 4th run-off.

Louisiana-07. In the race to replace the unsuccessful US Senate candidate Chris John (D), two-term State Senator Willie Mount lost the December 4th run-off to Dr. Charles Boustany (R) but kept her state senate seat.

Michigan-07. John "Joe" Schwarz (R) defeated Sharon Renier (D), 59 percent to 36 percent, in this open-seat contest to replace term-limited Rep. Nick Smith (R).

Missouri-03. In the race to succeed retiring Rep. Richard Gephardt (D), Russ Carnahan (D) beat Bill Federer (R), 53 percent to 45 percent. (D's Joan Barry and Jo Ann Karll lost primaries)

Missouri-05. Emanuel Cleaver (D) beat Jeanne Patterson (R), 55 percent to 42 percent, to take over the seat being vacated by Rep. Karen McCarthy (D). (Rs Joyce P. Lea and Annalisa Zapien-Pina lost primary)

Nebraska-01. Jeff Fortenberry (R) beat Matt Connealy (D), 55 percent to 43 percent, with 76 percent of precincts reporting. He will succeed retiring Rep. Doug Bereuter (R). (D Janet Stewart lost primary)

New York-27. Two days after the election, the contest to replace retiring Rep. Jack Quinn (R) was headed to the courts. Brian Higgins (D) led Nancy Naples (R) by only a few thousand votes, but now appears to have won with 51% of the vote

New York-29. John Kuhl (R) beat Samara Barend (D), 51 percent to 41 percent, for control of retiring GOP incumbent Amo Houghton's seat.

North Carolina-05. Virginia Foxx (R) claimed victory over Jim Harrell (D), 59 percent to 41 percent, in the race to succeed GOP Rep. Richard Burr, who successfully ran for the state's open Senate seat.

North Carolina-10. Patrick McHenry (R) beat Anne Fischer (D), 64 percent to 36 percent, to take control of the seat held by retiring Rep. Cass Ballenger (R).

Oklahoma-02. Dan Boren (D) beat Wayland Smalley (R), 65 percent to 35 percent, in the race for failed Senate hopeful Brad Carson's (D) open seat. (D Kalyn Free lost primary)

Pennsylvania-06. Incumbent Jim Gerlach (R) squeaked by challenger Lois Murphy (D), 51 percent to 49 percent.

Pennsylvania-08. Republican Mike Fitzpatrick defeated Democratic nominee Ginny Schrader, 55 percent to 44 percent, for control of retiring Rep. Jim Greenwood's (R) seat.

Pennsylvania-13. Allyson Schwartz (D) beat Melissa Brown (R), 56 percent to 41 percent, for the seat currently held by failed Senate hopeful Joe Hoeffel (D).

Pennsylvania-15. Charlie Dent (R) beat Joe Driscoll (D), 59 percent to 39 percent, to fill the seat of Pat Toomey (R), who ran for Senate.

South Carolina-04. Former Rep. Bob Inglis (R) returns to Capitol Hill, taking the spot being vacated by Senator-elect Jim DeMint (R), with a 70 percent to 29 percent victory over Brandon Brown (D).

Texas-09. Al Green (D) beat Arlette Molina (R), 72 percent to 27 percent. (D Beverly Spencer lost primary)

Texas-10. Michael McCaul (R) bested Libertarian Robert Fritsche, 84 percent to 16 percent. (R Teresa Doggett Taylor lost primary)

Texas-11. Mike Conaway (R) beat Wayne Raasch (D), 77 percent to 22 percent.

Texas-24. Kenny Marchant (R) defeated Gary Page (D), 64 percent to 34 percent.

Texas-28. Henry Cuellar (D) beat James Hopson (R), 59 percent to 39 percent.

Texas-32. In Texas' other incumbent-vs.-incumbent contest, Rep. Pete Sessions (R) beat Rep. Martin Frost (D), 54 percent to 44 percent.

Virginia-02. Thelma Drake (R) beat David Ashe (D), 55 percent to 45 percent, in this race to fill the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Ed Schrock (R).

Washington-05. Cathy McMorris (R) beat Don Barbieri (D), 60 percent to 40 percent, to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. George Nethercutt (R), who last night lost his Senate bid.

Washington-08. Dave Reichert (R) defeated Dave Ross (D), 51 percent to 47 percent, in the race to replace retiring Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R) -- (D Heidi Behrens-Benedict lost primary after challenging Jennifer Dunn 3 times -- the WA Dem Party recruited talk-show host Dave Ross and supported Ross)

Wisconsin-04. Gwen Moore (D) beat Gerald Boyle (R), 70 percent to 28 percent, in this race to succeed retiring Rep. Gerald Kleczka (D)

B. SENATE: There were eight OPEN SEATS, none won by women -- however, all women incumbents were re-elected so the number remains at 14 women in the US Senate.

Colorado. State Attorney General Ken Salazar (D) bested beer magnate Pete Coors (R), 50 percent to 48 percent, in the race to replace retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R).

Florida. Mel Martinez (R) will replace retiring Sen. Bob Graham (D) after Betty Castor (D) conceded the race on Wednesday morning. Martinez led by a 50 percent to 48 percent margin , with 99 percent of precincts reporting. (R Sonya March lost primary and R Karen saull dropped out)

Georgia. Johnny Isakson (R) defeated Denise Majette (D), 59 percent to 39 percent, in the race to replace retiring Sen. Zell Miller (D). (D Mary Squires lost primary. DNC conceded the entire South, except for Florida..)

Illinois. Barack Obama (D) trounced Alan Keyes (R), 70 percent to 27 percent, in the race to replace retiring Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R). (Ds Maria Pappas, Nancy Skinner, and Joyce Washington lost primaries)

Louisiana. David Vitter (R) won 51 percent of the votes, enough to avoid a Dec. 4 runoff in the race to replace retiring Sen. John Breaux (D).

Missouri. Incumbent Republican Christopher "Kit" Bond held off a challenge from Democrat Nancy Farmer, 56 percent to 43 percent.

New Hampshire. Incumbent Judd Gregg (R) easily trumped challenger Doris "Granny D" Haddock (D), 66 percent to 34 percent.

North Carolina. Rep. Richard Burr (R) denied 2002 Democratic nominee Erskine Bowles an open seat for a second time, 52 percent to 47 percent, in the race to replace retiring Sen. John Edwards (D). (Bowles was a late entry in 2002 for another open seat, derailing the chances of well-respected Secretary of State Elaine Marshall for the the seat subsequently won by Elizabeth Dole.)

Oklahoma. Former Rep. Tom Coburn (R) bested Rep. Brad Carson (D), 53 percent to 41 percent, in the race to replace retiring Sen. Don Nickles (R).

South Carolina. Rep. Jim DeMint (R) defeated state Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum (D), 54 percent to 44 percent, in the race to replace retiring Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D).

        Whatever Happened to the Year of the Woman?

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