This week the massive 17 GOP candidate field for the special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District was whittled down to two, with state Rep. Greg Murphy and pediatrician Joan Perry advancing to a July runoff. This is the first House primary since the 2018 elections that will test a crucial question: Can Republican women get past the primary hurdle? Whether Perry can do that — and whether other women in the primary in the state’s more competitive 9th district in just over two weeks — will give us a hint as to whether the GOP can get more diverse candidates on their November ballots. As my colleague David Wasserman wrote last week, Republicans must find a way to respond to the successes of Democratic women in the midterms. And so far the National Republican Congressional Committee is making strides, as many of their earliest and strongest recruits for competitive contests are women. Republican women ran in high numbers last year, but it was getting through primaries that proved difficult. According to data from Rutgers University's Center for American Women
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