Politics

Every New GOP Congresswoman, Explained In One Sentence Each

Featuring a farmer, a pharmacist, and career politicians.

The newly elected GOP congresswomen
The Washington Post/Getty; Michael Conroy/AP/Shutterstock; Steve Karnowski/AP/Shutterstock; Russell Contreras/AP/Shutterstock; MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty; Tom Williams/Getty

A historic number of Republican women assumed Congressional office this month in the 117th Congress, with 17 first-time inductees in the House of Representatives. The party now has the highest number of women in the lower chamber that it’s ever had, with at least 28 GOP women out of 435. (It bests the previous count of 13, in 2019, but falls short of the Democrat's current count of 89.)

In 2019, FiveThirtyEight created a five-winged system to classify the GOP — the Trumpists, the Pro-Trumpers, the Trump-Skeptic Conservatives, the Trump-Skeptic Moderates, and the Anti-Trumpers — which highlighted how the party had morphed and schismed under the president. "The most important dividing line in the Republican Party right now is probably this: How much should the GOP adhere to Trumpism?" wrote reporter Perry Bacon, Jr., who created the system. He imaged "Trumpism," loosely, as a "wariness" of longstanding global alliances, institutions, and American immigration. His question still stands.

With Trump now out of the White House, where does that leave the party, particularly those who rode his coattails into office? “The new class of women seems to be in the mold of Trump,” says political analyst Meredith Conroy, who’s covered the rise of GOP women for FiveThirtyEight. “This makes sense... it is difficult to run as a woman in the party of Trump."

Now, with the figurehead decamped to Florida, Bustle sized up the 17 newly minted representatives with this framework — from QAnon supporters to the first Korean American congresswomen. (Since many of them are first-time lawmakers, categorization leans disproportionately on campaign platforms and social media. The list includes neither provisional Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, whose Iowa race is still being contested, nor first-term Sen. Cynthia Lummis, as she previously served in the U.S. House.)

The Trumpists

This group of anti-institutionalists defends Trump and loyally adopts his positions. Examples of notable Trumpists, according to FiveThirtyEight, include Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL-1) and Jim Jordan (OH-4).

Lauren Boebert (CO-3): As a QAnon supporter, the 34-year-old won her Colorado race with a MAGA hat on her head and a Glock on her side, which she’d intended (to no avail) to carry at the U.S. Capitol, much like she’d done at her open-carry restaurant, Shooters Grill, in Rifle, Colorado.

Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14): Before refusing to mask up during the Capitol lockdown, the 46-year-old, who’s supposedly filed articles of impeachment against President Biden, was credited as the first elected official to bring conspiracy theories like QAnon to the Capitol, and is considered one of Trump’s closest congressional allies.

Diana Harshbarger (TN-1): The anti-abortion pharmacist, 61, has no prior political experience and aims to take a faith-driven, Christian-centric approach to politics, which so far looks like fervent support of Trump, decrying socialism, and opposing the 2020 election results.

Lisa McClain (MI-10): While calling the attacks on the Capitol “evil” and “atrocious,” the 54-year-old political newbie, who supports anti-vaxxers’ choices, didn't think Trump should be removed from office, and joined a letter urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Dec. 15 to investigate alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election, despite a lack of evidence.

Mary Miller (IL-15): On Jan. 5, the farmer and mother of seven, 61, quoted Adolf Hitler at a conservative rally — for which she later apologized — saying, “Hitler was right on one thing ... ‘Whoever has the youth has the future,’” a departure from her campaign, which leaned on sanitized GOP talking points like “the American Dream,” defunding Planned Parenthood, and being tough on immigration and taxes.

The Pro-Trumpers

Unlike the blind support offered by the Trumpists, Pro-Trumpers are ardent supporters of the former president because of his standing in the Republican Party. They may disagree on certain issues but are careful about how they express disagreement. Examples in Congress include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Stephanie Bice (OK-5): The 47-year-old, who upset former Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn, is the first Iranian American to serve in Congress and challenged the electoral certification of the 2020 vote.

Kat Cammack (FL-3): As the youngest incoming Republican congresswoman, Cammack, 32, is using her experience as deputy chief of staff for her predecessor, Rep. Ted Yoho, to oppose abortion and support election fraud claims after the insurrection at the Capitol.

Michelle Fischbach (MN-7): After over two decades in Minnesota public office — as a state senator and lieutenant governor — the 55-year-old ran on a traditionally conservative agenda of pro-guns, pro-walls, and anti-abortion, and with a campaign that highlighted her “commit[ment] to helping President Trump,” an approach that ultimately flipped her congressional seat from Democratic control.

Yvette Herrell (NM-2): In 2018, the 56-year-old, who’d served as a state legislator since 2011, ran unsuccessfully for this district, in a loss she now blames on voter fraud, but her second run — in which she ran an arguably misogynistic ad against her primary challenger — was successful, making her the first Republican Native American woman elected to Congress. (She self-identifies as white, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.)

Ashley Hinson (IA-1): The 37-year-old Iowa lawmaker, who served two terms in the state legislature, prioritizes “family values” and, like many of her newly elected colleagues, doesn't think Twitter should have banned Trump, but has said that President Joe Biden’s mask mandate would be congruent with Iowa’s governors’.

Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27): The daughter of Cuban immigrants, 59, was endorsed by Trump and ran an anti-socialism campaign, which paid off in her Florida district, which is 72.7% Hispanic.

Victoria Spartz (IN-5): In Indianapolis’ conservative suburbs, the 42-year-old Ukrainian immigrant painted her story as the “American dream,” drawing on classic Republican values like limited government while not overwhelming her campaign with her support for the former president.

Michelle Steel (CA-48): As one of the first Korean American women in Congress, the 65-year-old immigrant — who is, ironically, tough on immigration and doesn’t support California’s Sanctuary State Law — used her campaign to prioritize cutting taxes, and was the only elected official to greet Trump at LAX on his first official visit to the state as president in 2018.

Beth Van Duyne (TX-24): Before being informally tapped to the “conservative squad,” the now 50-year-old wrote an Islamophobic rant on Facebook in 2015 while serving as a Texas mayor, which preceded being picked by Trump to oversee housing and urban development in Texas and its surrounding four states.

The Trump-Skeptic Conservatives

These are ideologically conservative politicians, such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who are more committed to their principles than Trump. They occasionally speak out about how Trump isn’t conservative enough.

Young Kim (CA-39): As one of the first Korean American women in Congress, the 58-year-old — the only freshman GOP to mask up in the party's class photo — has criticized Trump for using the term “Kung Flu,” emphasized bipartisanship, and respected the 2020 election results.

Nancy Mace (SC-1): Until the Jan. 6 attack, the 43-year-old was a staunch supporter of Trump, having campaigned for him in 2016, but the events on the Capitol changed her views, and so while she’s still proud of Trump's accomplishments, she’s also said that the violence “wiped out” his administration’s legacy and he should have conceded the election “weeks ago.”

Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11): Although she's distanced herself from Trump in the past, the 40-year-old Latinx lawmaker and former New York State assemblywoman, who’s a first generation American with Cuban and Greek parents, supported “rooting out fraud” from the 2020 election results and rallying around anti-socialism rhetoric, aimed in part at fellow New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Trump-Skeptic Moderates

According to Conroy, “this group disagrees with Trump's tactics, approach, (tweets), and use of cultural issues to divide Americans. They believe in institutions (even the media!) and disagree with Trump's effort to sow distrust in these institutions.” FiveThirtyEight considers people like Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney in this group. So far, nobody from the new class is a regular critic of Trump.

Anti-Trumpers

As the name suggests, Anti-Trumpers didn't support the president in the 2016 primaries and never came around to his leadership of the GOP. According to FiveThirtyEight, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich falls into this camp. So far, none of the newly elected Republican congresswomen would be considered part of this category, but this month’s cascade of gravely historic events could change that.