The election has increased the number of women in Congress to more than 100 for the first time in history, with 20 women in the Senate and 81 women in the House. While an important milestone, this is a net gain of only two women, and only 11 are incoming freshman. Overall, it was a night of mixed results for RAN’s endorsed candidates, with half of our candidates coming up short.
Senator Susan Collins (ME-R)
Senator Susan Collins defeated challenger Shenna Bellows, 68 to 32 percent. Throughout her campaign, Collins highlighted her record as a bipartisan coalition builder and her dedication to her constituents over Washington politicking.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH-D)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen was reelected to a second term, defeating former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown 52 to 48 percent. Shaheen focused her campaign on her local accomplishments throughout New Hampshire and her dedication to the people of the state.
Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-04-D)
Congresswoman Donna Edwards sailed to reelection over challenger Nancy Hoyt, 70 to 29 percent. Edwards emphasized the importance of job creation, improving transportation infrastructure, supporting education initiatives, and increasing the minimum wage.
Alison Lundergan Grimes (KY-D)
Alison Lundergan Grimes was defeated in her bid to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell, trailing 41 to 56 percent. Throughout the campaign, McConnell worked to link Grimes to a national “war on coal” and President Obama’s climate agenda, despite an endorsement for Grimes from the United Mine Workers of America.
Senator Kay Hagan (NC-D)
Senator Kay Hagan narrowly lost her race against North Carolina State House Speaker Thom Tillis, 47 to 49 percent. Even though she ran a near-perfect campaign – focusing exclusively on local issues and maintaining a slight lead throughout the summer – Hagan wasn’t able to overcome the unpopularity of President Obama.
Michelle Nunn (GA-D)
Michelle Nunn fell short in her race against businessman David Purdue, losing 45 to 53 percent. The race was expected to be much closer, and Purdue’s win indicates that demographic changes in Georgia have yet to make a significant political impact.
Senator Mary Landrieu (LA-D)
Senator Mary Landrieu led Representative Bill Cassidy, her main challenger, 42 to 41 percent. Since neither candidate reached the required 50 percent to win outright, they will have a runoff on December 6, which Cassidy is favored to win. Even if Landrieu wins reelection, she will lose her position as chair of the Energy Committee with the Republican takeover of the Senate.