Republicans have identified two Arizona women running for U.S. House seats as strong contenders to replace Democratic incumbents.
Martha McSally is running in Congressional District 2 in Southern Arizona, and Wendy Rogers is running in Congressional District 9 in Phoenix. They appeared on a list circulated Tuesday of 10 Republican women who have a "strong chance" to defeat Democrats in November.
Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner created the list, and has been leading an effort to get more female Republicans elected to the House.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is also focused on electing more women to Congress. Women make up the majority of voters, said Daniel Scarpinato, an NRCC spokesman.
"It was a huge priority for us this cycle to recruit women candidates, make sure that we were reaching out to potential women candidates," Scarpinato said.
The NRCC has a program to connect female candidates with female incumbents for mentoring, he said.
"It’s important for us as a party and as a Congress to make sure that we are having a diverse set of candidates, that women are represented in the Republican conference and that women who want to run for office as Republicans are getting the support that they need to get in and run great campaigns,” he said.
So-called women's issues have also played a role in the CD 2 race. Rep. Ron Barber, D-Tucson, has been using social media to talk about his support for women’s health issues and equal pay for women this legislative session.
He has criticized McSally in campaign news releases for not stating a position on issues such as the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow some non-publicly traded companies to opt out of providing health insurance to cover some methods of birth control.