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Stacy Mason's picture

In the biggest day of congressional and state legislative primary voting in this election cycle, voters in 6 states go to the polls Tuesday to choose candidates for the general election in November. And here's the big news from The 2012 Project, the national, nonpartisan campaign of Rutgers' Center for American Women and Politics: a record 64 women have filed to run for those 6 states' US House seats, up from the previous record of 50 in 2010.

Primaries will be held June 5th in California, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, plus there's the recall in Wisconsin.

6 states with June 5th primariesSource: Center for American Women and Politics

Some notes as we head into the election:

  • In California, which boasts the nation's largest congressional delegation and the most women serving in Congress from any single state, the excitement is in the open seats, with 10 women running in 6 of 9 open races. Remember: new seats and open seats mean opportunities for women.
  • In New Jersey, which has had no women in its congressional delegation since 2003, 9 women have filed to run in 6 districts.
  • In Iowa, 1 of only 4 states in the country that has never (!) sent a woman to Congress, there is 1 woman running in a primary Tuesday.
  • In New Mexico, where no women filed to run in 2010, there are 3 women running in 2 districts. Another woman is running for Senate and hopes to be the first woman ever elected to the Senate from the state.

Meanwhile, nationwide, 15 primaries have taken place. Here are the results for women so far in 2012:

A total of 56 women have won U.S. House primaries, and 7 more in Texas advanced to runoffs. In 1992, the last time women made big gains in the House, 106 women ran in the general election. Today the House is 17 percent female, and that's clearly way too few.

At this stage, a record 299 women are on track to file for House seats in 2012, up from the previous record of 262 in 2010. Follow all the news about women filing and winning primaries in our 2012 Women's Election Tracker.

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