By Rebecca Downs
Tuesday night’s primaries in Indiana and Ohio were a big night for candidates endorsed by prominent members of the Republican Party, including former President Donald Trump. Trump wasn’t the only key Republican figure endorsing winning candidates, though. House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and E-PAC, her leadership PAC founded to get more Republican women elected to the House after the 2018 GOP midterm losses, wracked up wins as well.
Former State Sen. Erin Houchin, endorsed by Stefanik and E-PAC, emerged successfully out of a crowded primary field of nine candidates to represent Indiana’s 9th Congressional District. She was the only female candidate in the race. It is an open seat, as Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, a fellow Republican, will not be seeking re-election, and Houchin will face Democrat Matthew Fyfe in the general election, just a little over six months from now. Trump did not make an endorsement in this race.
“No one has done more to champion America First campaigns and female candidates than Elise Stefanik. Speaking for my own campaign, Elise’s support was critical to our victory last night in that she invested in our effort early and never faltered in her support. Like the other strong E-PAC nominees, my focus is on winning in November so we can join Elise and other conservatives in the House to push back against the radical Biden-Pelosi agenda and take our country back,” Houchin said in a statement for Townhall.
Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a business owner, attorney, and commentator who was involved in the Trump 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, was endorsed by the former president, as well as Stefanik and E-PAC. She too faced a crowded primary of seven candidates and was one of two female Republicans in that race, but was declared the winner with 28.3 percent of the vote.
Gilbert will face Democrat Emilia Sykes in the November general election. This too is an open seat, as Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat, is running to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman, the state’s Republican senator. He won the Democratic primary on Tuesday night, handily, with 73.2 percent of the vote.
“Congresswoman Stefanik’s support for my campaign through E-PAC played an important role in my primary victory in Ohio’s 13th congressional district. Elise knows electing Republican women who support the America First agenda is crucial to taking back the House in November and getting our country back on track. I look forward to campaigning with Elise in the general election and joining her in Congress next year,” Gilbert said in a statement for Townhall.
Both Houchin and Gilbert were part of a slate of endorsed candidates appearing at an E-PAC press conference in late March that Townhall attended.
Vox’s Tuesday night article on “4 winners and 2 losers from the Ohio and Indiana primaries” also referenced Houchin and Gilbert by name when it comes to their “winner” of “Republican women candidates.”
Both Trump, and Stefanik in her capacity as a member of Congress, also endorsed Max Miller for Ohio’s 7th Congressional District. Rep. Bob Gibbs, a Republican, chose to retire amidst redistricting, and rather than face a primary challenge from Miller, who beat out other candidates to win handily with 71.9 percent of the vote.
These winning endorsements are part of a larger plan to elect not just more Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives and take back the majority, but to do with a record amount of Republican women. At the press conference in March, Stefanik told reporters that 50 Republican women could be serving in Congress next term, a mix of those who will be elected in November and those already serving.
A record-high amount of Republican women have declared their intention to run for office in November. Last July, when that number was already a record-high, it was at 127 such women. In March of this year, it more than doubled to 280 women who have filed a run for Congress, as Stefanik mentioned.
“Last night’s primary elections were a huge night for the America First movement. We saw big wins throughout the country, including victories from E-PAC endorsed candidates Madison Gesiotto Gilbert and Erin Houchin. Max Miller also won big, and I was happy to join President Trump in endorsing Max’s campaign. We are well on our way to taking back the House in November, firing Nancy Pelosi once and for all, and saving America,” said Stefanik in a statement for Townhall.
Cook Political Report already forecast Republicans to take control of the House last December. The president’s party almost always loses seats during his first midterm election, and Democrats have a particularly small majority heading into November. Further, Democrats are suffering from President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and a high amount of Democratic members retiring.
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