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Your Guide to the Most Competitive Races

Updated March 21, 2024

The Congressional primaries start on March 5 and continue through early fall. These are the races to watch this year that have implications for both women’s representation and Democrats taking control of the House:

March 5

CA-3, Likely R, Flip: Jessica Morse, the former deputy secretary at the California Natural Resources Agency, won the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Rep. Kevin Kiley in November. This is only an R+4 district, so we should see this rating move toward Democrats as the race develops.

CA-12, Solid D, Open: BART Director Lateefah Simon won the primary and is the favorite to retain this safe Democratic seat that Rep. Barbara Lee vacated to run for US Senate, so this Black woman-held seat will likely stay that way.

CA-16, Solid D, Open: Palo Alto City Council member Julie Lythcott-Haims fell short in the primary—where she was the only female candidate in a field of 11—for this safe Democratic seat vacated by Rep. Anna Eshoo, so we are likely to see a Democratic man win it in November.

CA-22, Solid D, Flip: Former state Assemblymember Rudy Salas will face Republican Rep. David Valadeo in this toss up district, despite a strong primary challenge from State Sen. Melissa Hurtado.

CA-29, Solid D, Open: State Assemblymember Luz Rivas won the primary for this safe Democratic seat being vacated by Rep. Tony Cardenas, meaning women are likely to pick this seat up in November.

CA-30, Solid D, Open: State Assemblymember Laura Friedman won the primary in this safe Democratic seat vacated by Rep. Adam Schiff, making this another pick up for women in California’s Congressional delegation.

CA-31, Solid D, Open: Former Rep. Gil Cisneros is the likely next occupant of this seat vacated by Rep. Grace Napolitano, after both qualified women, state Sen. Susan Rubio and Mary Ann Lutz, fell short in the primary.

CA-40, Likely R, Flip: Former president of the Orange County Firefighters Union Joe Kerr looks likely to win the primary and take on Rep. Young Kim, in a primary many observers thought would go to Tustin Unified School District Board Member Allyson Damikolas.

CA-45, Lean R, Flip: Garden Grove City Councilor Kim Nguyen-Penaloza and Derek Tran are in a close race to come in second in the primary, and then hopefully flip this district—currently held by Rep. Michelle Steele—in November.

CA-47, Lean D, Open: State Sen. Dave Min came out ahead of Joanna Weiss in this seat vacated by Rep. Katie Porter, making it another loss for women in California’s Congressional delegation.

TX-8, Solid R, Challenger: Laura Jones won the primary in this long-shot district to take on incumbent Republican Rep. Morgan Luttrell in November.

TX-15, Likely R, Challenger: Democrat Michelle Vallejo will again face Republican Rep. Monica De La Cruz, who defeated her in 2022. But Senate dynamics—Sen. Ted Cruz is facing his most formidable Democratic challenger in years in Rep. Colin Allred—could shake things up in this.

TX-18, Solid D, Challenge: Incumbent Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who re-entered this race after losing her bid for Houston mayor, will retain this seat after a hard race against Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards.

TX-32, Solid D, Open: State Rep. Julie Johnson won the primary for this seat being vacated by Rep. Colin Allred, who is running for US Senate. It’s a safe Democratic seat, meaning she’s likely going to Congress in November.

TX-38, Solid R, Challenger: Melissa McDonough won the primary to take on incumbent Republican Rep. Wesley Hunt in November, in another long-shot race for Democrats.

March 19

OH-9, Tossup, Incumbent: Marcy Kaptur is the longest-serving woman in Congress and the second longest-serving woman in congressional history—and we’d like to keep that record going. Her official Republican challenger will be Trump-backed state Rep. Derek Merrin.

OH-13, Tossup, Incumbent: Emilia Sykes held this district—vacated by Tim Ryan when he ran for US Senate—for Democrats last year 52.7 to 47.3 percent, though its current Cook rating is R+1. Her official Republican challenger is former Ohio state senator and businessman, Kevin Coughlin.

April 23

PA-01, Likely Republican, Challenger: Ashley Ehasz, a retired Army pilot who did tours of duty in Kuwait and Iraq, is the presumptive nominee in this suburban Philly district held by Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, who beat her by 9 points in 2022. During this presidential election year, in a district President Biden won by 5 percent, she has a better chance at flipping it. If she does, she would be the first female member of Congress to have graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point.

PA-07, Toss-Up, Incumbent: Rep. Susan Wild is again on the list of most at-risk Democratic members being targeted by both sides. She squeaked by with a 51 percent win in 2022, but this being a presidential year may make not make the race easier—the district only went to President Biden by 0.6 percentage points in 2020.

PA-10, Lean Republican, Challenger: Former local news anchor Janelle Stelson is the polling and fundraising leader in the Democratic primary to face incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Perry in this Harrisburg-centered district Donald Trump won by 4 percent in 2020. Harrisburg City Council member Shamaine Daniels, who was the nominee for this district in 2022, is putting up a strong second-place showing in the polls but is lagging in fundraising.

PA-12, Solid D, Incumbent: Freshman Democratic Rep. Summer Lee is facing a serious primary challenge from Edgewood Borough Councilor Bhavini Patel, who she narrowly beat in 2022 to win the nomination for this D+8 district. Summer is likely to keep her seat, but a primary between two strong female candidates is always one to watch.

May 21

OR-05, Toss-Up, Challenger: Janelle Bynum is a state representative vying for this seat that went red by only 2 points in 2022—but went to President Biden by 10 points in 2020. She recently received the endorsement of her now-former opponent, Portland Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, as well as three Oregon governors: Tina Kotek, Kate Brown, and Barbara Roberts.

June 4

IA-01, Likely R, Challenger: Christina Bohannan is a former state representative who was the nominee for this district in 2022. She lost narrowly to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

MT-01, Likely R, Challenger: Monica Tranel was the nominee for this district in 2022 but came up short by only 3 points, the closest a Democrat has ever come to winning a Congressional seat in Montana.

June 18

VA-02, Lean R, Challenger: Missy Cotter Smasal is a US Navy veteran and our best chance at winning back this coastal district formerly held by Rep. Elaine Luria, and now held by Republican Rep. Jen Kiggans.

VA-10, Likely D, Open: State Sen. Jennifer Boysko and former Rep. (and Virginia’s first female House Speaker) Eileen Filler-Corn are the only women among more than a dozen candidates running to replace retiring US Rep. Jennifer Wexton. VA-4 Rep. Jennifer McClellan recently threw her support behind her former state senate colleague, Sen. Jennifer Boysko

August 6

AZ-06, Toss-Up, Challenger: Kirsten Engel is a former state senator who lost to incumbent Republican Rep. Juan Ciscomani by 1 point last cycle. This district lies mostly within the Tucson metro area.

MI-08, Toss Up, Open: State Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet is the frontrunner for this R+1 seat whose primary also includes Michigan Board of Education President Pamela Pugh. This Democrat seat is being vacated by incumbent Rep. Dan Kildee.

August 13

WI-3, Lean R, Challenger: Former Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board member Rebecca Cooke is battling state Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland to challenge incumbent freshman Republican Rep. Derrick Van Orden. Rebecca ran for this seat in 2022 but lost in the primary. Cook rates it R+4.

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