Although not all results are in from the midterm elections, but most districts have already made the call. For the women veterans I covered, some won, some lost, and one is still too close to call.
I’ll start with that one, since it’s still kind of exciting.
As of 2 p.m. today, Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones was only 689 votes behind GOP U.S. Rep. Will Hurd in Congressional District 23. According to the Texas Tribune, all precincts have been counted. Ortiz Jones is not calling for a recount at this point.
But what makes it exciting in my eyes is that many service members serving overseas or living outside their home-of-record state always hear they should fill out an absentee ballot. Some do, and some don’t. Many feel like their vote won’t be counted. In this case, it will.
In the article, Noelle Rosellini, a spokesperson for Ortiz Jones said that they won’t stop working until every provisional, absentee, military, or overseas ballot has been counted. That goes to show that every vote really does count.
As a reminder, the other female veterans running for office included Tobi Beck, Margaret Engebretson, MJ Hegar, Chrissy Houlahan, Elaine Luria, Amy McGrath, Shirley McKellar, Martha McSally, Wendy Rogers, Tammy Savoie, Mikie Sherrill, and Aja Smith.
The next closest race for our female veterans is Air Force veteran Martha McSally, running for reelection as senator in Arizona. This one is also still too close to call. AZ Central, part of the USA Today network is reporting that full results will likely take days. Updates are expected every day at 5 p.m. until the results are in.
Winners include Navy veterans Elaine Luria (Virginia) and Mikie Sherrill (New Jersey). The highest percentage win was for Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan from Pennsylvania’s 6th district. According to the Reading Eagle, she won by more than 50,000 votes.
The other women who ran still have my respect for getting out there and trying to make a change for our country.
Of the women who didn’t quite make it, I find Air Force veteran MJ Hegar’s story pretty interesting, and this is probably coming from my public relations point of view. In every sense, she would have been considered an underdog if she was running her campaign in a world without social media.
Fortunately, that is not the case. Hegar’s campaign produced a video called, “Doors,” that went viral.
According to the Huffington Post, the video led to a wave of small donations that helped her outraise her opponent, incumbent John Carter. Running in the 31st district in Texas was a long shot for Hegar. Her opponent is an eight-time candidate, who won his last election by more than 20 percentage points. In that same district, President Donald Trump won by more than 12 percentage points.
This time, Carter faced a much tougher opponent. According to the New York Times, he received 50.7 percent of the vote, while Hegar got 47.6 percent. In my personal opinion, that was a really good race.
Whether they won or lost, I hope these women have shown other female veterans that it is worth it to try. It’s all about representation.
Congratulations to the winners. Good luck next time to those who are willing to try, and I’m still looking forward to seeing the results of those close races.