Primary elections will be taking place throughout next spring and summer and will be the perfect opportunity for voters to support female candidates. Last year, the 2018 elections made history with the largest number of women ever elected to Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives went from having 83 seats occupied by women in 2017 to 102 in 2019. This trend has the potential to continue in the 2020 congressional elections with more women challenging male incumbents. What is especially interesting about the female candidates running for Congress in 2020 is their ages. In the 2018 election, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress at only 29 years old. Since then, many young women have been inspired to follow in her footsteps. With so many young women declaring their candidacy for 2020, perhaps Ocasio-Cortez’s record age of 29 will be broken in the next election. Here are a few of the youngest and most stand-out women running for U.S. Congress in 2020:
Cisneros (D) is a 26-year-old running to represent Texas’ District 28. She is challenging Democratic incumbent Henry Cuellar who has held his position since 2005. Cisneros is a Mexican immigrant who now lives in Laredo, TX, and has chosen to run against Cuellar because she feels he is not representing the Democratic majority of southern Texas. Her plans for change include immigration reform and raising the minimum wage.
Stevie Rivenbark Hull
Hull (R) is a 32-year-old mother of two running to represent North Carolina’s District 9. She was born and raised in NC and attended UNCW and then Liberty University, where she received her MA in public policy. Hull is running against a male Republican opponent in the primary, and as a young female Republican, she hopes to share true Republican values with younger voters. Hull describes herself as a responsible gun owner who supports the Second Amendment, and while she also supports immigration, she believes in having a secure border.
Lauf (R) is a 26-year-old from Woodstock, IL, running to represent Illinois’ District 14. She is facing fellow Republicans in the primary, all but one being male, in an effort to defeat the Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood. Lauf’s mother is an immigrant from Guatemala and came to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. Lauf believes in making the American dream achievable for everyone while maintaining strong borders. She also has experience being a former Trump administration adviser and is a strong supporter of capitalism.
Wilkes (D) is a 28-year-old single Mother of two running to represent Maryland’s District 5. Wilkes is from Washington D.C. and has faced hardships in her life that she believes have prepared her to serve her country. Having experienced juvenile detention when she was younger, she knows first-hand how unfair the justice system can be, especially for black women. Wilkes promises to fight to reform the criminal justice system, protect voting rights, and expand affordable housing.
State’s district numbers and their candidates, along with election dates, can be found on ballotpedia. org and house.gov. Candidates also often post their election dates on their campaign websites, along with their values and political goals. Don’t forget to exercise your right to vote!
By Katelyn Wiszowaty, Staff Writer