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article imageTwo strong GOP women hope to flip vulnerable House seats

By Larry Clifton     Aug 13, 2014 in Politics
Washington - Republicans, confident of retaining control of the House of Representatives, are hardly content to settle for status quo. The party has two strong female candidates with proven records of leadership vying to upset Democrats.
Arizona
In Arizona, Martha McSally, the first female Air Force pilot to fly in combat, is favored to be the Republican candidate to take on Democrat Rep. Ron Barber, the former Gabby Giffords staffer who was elected by a small margin in 2012.
Analysts say Barber cannot count on eking out a victory in midterms with the GOP fully funding McSally. Barber is one of Roll Call's 10 most vulnerable House candidates. Meanwhile, McSally is expected to breeze through the August 26 Republican primary and focus her campaign on defeating Barber.
Besides being the first female fighter pilot. McSally, strongly backed by the GOP, filed a 2001 lawsuit against then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over a policy requiring servicewomen in Saudi Arabia to wear a body-covering abaya in public.
“She was standing up for women since Day One in the military,” Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee told reporters in Washington D.C. during a recent session with about the 2014 midterms.
For his part, Barber was narrowly elected after Rep Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords (D) retired from Congress in early 2012 to recover from a near-fatal shooting. Barber had strong party support early on and managed to retain the seat for Democrats, defeating McSally by roughly 2,500 votes.
The Tucson-based 2nd District in the Republican-leaning state is considered “moderate” by most political standards
New York
In New York, 30-year-old Elise Stefanik would become the youngest female House member if she wins in November.
A former Bush White House aide, Stefanik’s campaign has cast her as a first-time candidate who would bring “new ideas” and “new leadership” to the upstate 21st District.
Stefanik, who easily defeated primary candidate Matt Doheny, faces Democratic nominee Aaron Woolf for the open seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owen.
The Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI) rates this district as evenly matched between Democratic and Republican voters.
Stefanik is a Harvard graduate who worked on the Romney 2012 campaign after leaving Washington. She currently works for the family’s building supply company and lives in the Lake Champlain area of upstate New York.
Stefanik's campaign is based on a jobs-and-economy message focused on Fort Drum, which is a big part of the local economy and home to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Stefanik would vote to repeal Obamacare and her campaign is largely focused on seniors, the military and the economy, including farmers, who the nominee refers to as “the backbone of our North Country communities.”
Currently, Republicans hold a 35-seat advantage over Democrats in the House, and are hoping to increase their margin by seizing on opportunities to support Republicans in districts where vulnerable Democratic candidates are struggling.
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