After midterm elections, record 12 women to serve as governors in 2023 – USA TODAY

Maura Healey‘s record-setting win in Massachusetts was historic in more ways than just her being the country’s first lesbian governor.
Come 2023, the 51-year-old Democrat will also be the 12th woman to concurrently serve as a governor in the U.S., topping the record nine women set in 2004. 
The former record simultaneously serving at the helm as governor was matched in 2007 and 2009.
On Tuesday, incumbent female governors in Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Mexico, Michigan and South Dakota won reelection.
In that order, they are: Republican Kay Ivey, Republican Kim Reynolds, Democrat Laura Kelly, Democrat Janet Mills, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Kristi Noem.
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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul won a first full term after taking over the top job in 2021 after Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. Come January, she will become the first elected female governor in the state.
In addition to Massachusetts, three states – Arkansas, Arizona and Oregon – elected new female governors.
In Arkansas, Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House press secretary in the Trump administration, will become the state’s first female chief after being elected to the job her father, Mike Huckabee, held from 1996 to 2007.
Meanwhile, Arkansas and Massachusetts will also become the first states to have women serving in the governor and lieutenant governor positions at the same time, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
In Arizona and Oregon, votes were still being tallied as of Thursday afternoon, but candidates in those gubernatorial races are all women. Those states are included in the record-setting 12.
Democrat Katie Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state, was leading Republican Kari Lake in Arizona as of Thursday morning by a slight margin.
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In Oregon, Democrat Tina Kotek, a former state House speaker and another lesbian gubernatorial candidate, was ahead of Republican Christine Drazan, a former state House minority leader. Meanwhile, former state Sen. Betsy Johnson, an independent, garnered less than 10% of the vote as of Thursday morning. 
Another lesbian gubernatorial candidate, Tina Kotek of Oregon, could join Healey’s spot in history once votes have been tallied. That election was also too close to call Thursday.
Before Tuesday’s midterms, 2022 set a record for the number of all-female gubernatorial races.
Before this year, there had been only four woman-versus-woman gubernatorial matchups in all of history, according to the Rutgers center. CAWP.
But in 2022, 25 women were nominated for governor by Democrats and Republicans, marking another historical record. 
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.


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