Past year sees many women in politics

So far, it has been a good year for women in politics.

In the past couple of decades, hundreds of female candidates have set their sights on Congress, governorships and state legislatures, the Associated Press reported.

And in Tuesday’s primary election, a few women racked up big wins.

In California, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, two wealthy businesswomen, captured the Republican nomination for governor and Senate. State Legislator Sharron Angle, in Nevada, received the GOP Senate nod and will face Democratic Leader Harry Reid in November. Despite allegations of infidelity, Nikki Haley grabbed the spot in the GOP gubernatorial runoff, the Associated Press reported.

But one of the biggest wins of the night came from two-term Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, the Associated Press reported. Lincoln received just a few more votes than Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. In Iowa, Roxanne Conlin won the Democratic Senate, and in Maine, Elizabeth Mitchell is the Democratic nominee for governor. Mitchell is the first woman in the nation to serve as both state Senate president and state House speaker.

In 1992, 24 women went to the House and five women went to the Senate. Now, 75 women are in the House, including the first female Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and 17 women are in the Senate.

“Many women are running and taking advantage of this moment,” Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said. “When voters are looking for something new and something different, women can really fit that bill because they are not the status quo, they look different.”

Just two years ago, Sarah Palin was the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket, and Hillary Clinton almost won the Democratic presidential nomination.

Today, two women sit on the Supreme Court, and there is a chance Elena Kagan will join them.