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Record Number of Women Serving as State Legislative Leaders

After picking up over 200 state legislative seats in the 2018 midterm elections, women now hold 2,112 legislative seats nationwide, nearly 29 percent of the 7,383 total, a record high, according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.


Women will also hold more leadership positions in the legislatures than ever before. Six house chambers will have female speakers. Nine senates will be led by women. And 51 women will serve in other top leadership positions, including deputy House speaker in New Hampshire and senate minority leader in California, Florida and Oklahoma.


Most of the female legislative leaders are Democrats, including five house speakers and six senate presidents. But Republican women were also chosen to lead the senate chambers this year in Alaska and Arizona.


Despite the significant gains for women, however, there are still 15 legislatures that have no women serving in top leadership positions. They include the legislatures in Alabama, Illinois, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. (HILL, CENTER FOR WOMEN AND POLITICS)