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Source: REP.-ELECT MICHELLE FISCHBACH (R-MINN.)
My 55th birthday will be one I will never forget as it was the day I was elected to serve the people of Minnesota’s 7th District. In the days following Election Day, one thing became very clear — 2020 was the year for the Republican woman. Our nation has officially elected the largest class of incoming Republican congresswomen in history.
2018 was a huge wake-up call as Republican women fell victim to the blue wave and our female representation in the halls of Congress was low. Republican leaders knew we needed action to raise up our female candidates and bring women voters in Minnesota and around the country back to the Republican Party.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) launched the Elevate PAC to literally elevate female candidates and drastically increase the number of women elected to Congress. I was honored to have the support from Rep. Stefanik, who successfully backed more than a dozen female candidates this cycle.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, led by my friend Rep. Tom Emmer (Minn.), also made female candidates a priority. It invested heavily in my race, which we won by more than 13 points and in 33 of 38 counties, on Nov. 3.
We also had the leadership of Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and other women-forward groups like Winning for Women, Maggie’s List, and VIEW PAC contributing to our success in Minnesota.
I am grateful for the support from these partners and their emphasis on lifting women in the GOP. Their work will bode well for the future of our party and our country. It is because of these efforts that we were able to flip so many Democrat seats with Republican women candidates.
Incredibly, every Democrat-held seat that Republicans flipped was won by a candidate who is either a woman or a minority. In Minnesota’s 7th District, we defeated Rep. Collin Peterson, who had been in office for three decades and served as the chairman of the Agriculture Committee — a defeat that highlighted how eager rural voters are for a change.
For women to be successful now and in the future, we must create an environment that allows women to succeed, and thankfully, we have leaders stepping up to do just that.
In 2011, I served as the first female president of the Minnesota Senate. And on Nov. 3, I officially became the first Republican woman to be elected to Congress from Greater Minnesota (the area outside of the Twin Cities region).
Each and every time we have a woman who steps into the “first female” role, we are able to set new expectations for generations of women to follow and go even further. This historic class of congresswomen-elect should set the starting line for future cycles. We should seek to exceed this number every election from here on out and encourage more women to run for office and make their voices heard.
For years, we have heard from Democrats and liberal reporters that the Republican Party is not a party for women and, simply put, that is incredibly untrue. This year’s historic gains prove that voters around the country want women to represent them and work for them. This is a great sign of things to come.
Together, Republican women in Congress will be able to have a louder voice for women everywhere. We will work for mothers and woman-owned small businesses, we will fight for teachers and farmers, and we will be a voice for young women all across this great nation.
Republican women need to have a seat at the table, and because of the record number of Republican women in the 117th Congress, we will.
Fischbach is a representative-elect from Minnesota’s 7th District. She served as lieutenant governor of Minnesota from 2018-2019.