Meet the GOP Women Who Challenged the “Squad”

How the “Socialist Squad” Produced the “Year of the Republican Woman” in Congress

Republican women will be serving in Congress in record numbers this session in what has been dubbed the “Year of the Republican Woman.” These GOP women, who won in record-breaking numbers, ran on Conservative bona fides and on emphatically anti Socialist Squad platforms.

Republican Women Set Records in the 2020 Election

Their focus on American values and fighting Socialism in the Democrat ranks resonated with voters. GOP women won in record numbers, almost doubling the 13 seats held in 2020 (the lowest since the 1990s), surpassing a record of 9 non-incumbent GOP female winners last set in 2010 and setting a new record of Republican women in the house last set in 2006 of 25, according to data published by The Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University (CAWP). 

Democrat “Year of the Woman” was Wake-Up Call for Republicans

Democrats dubbed 2018 “Year of the Woman” after electing a blue wave of women to the House of Representatives. That year, 102 women were elected to the House of Representatives, breaking a new record. Of those, 35 of were non-incumbent Democrat women. Julie Conway, executive director of VIEW Pac, which mentors Republican women candidates, explained to HQ Roll Call that, “The success of the Democratic women in 2018 certainly was a wake-up call.” 

The Squad Created an Opportunity for the GOP

2018 was also the year that the infamous “Squad” formed. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-OH) banded together in a “Squad” to advocate for their extreme left, socialist agenda, including the Green New Deal, leniency on illegal immigration, dismantling the economy, and the clarion call to defund the police. This radical agenda, in turn, heralded an opportunity to reach out to women whose values are not in line with those of this new face of the Democrat party.

Conservative Women in Congress Break Records in Diversity and “Firsts”

The surge of Republican women in the House represents the changing face of the Republican party. The number of GOP women elected, as well as the number of  “firsts” and their diversity, breaks the mold of the Republican party as the party that mainly attracts white male voters.

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“We have at least 18 newly elected congresswomen – all of whom come from different walks of life,” said Ann Schockett, President of the National Federation of Republican Women. Schockett, continued, “…That’s where real diversity and the American dream meet to make success stories.”

“Trail-blazers” and “Mothers” Ran on Conservative Bona Fides

Kelly Dittmar, Director of Research at AWCP,  studied 16 Republican women candidates and concluded that, while Republican women candidates reject “identity politics,” preferring to focus on bona-fide traditional Conservative issues such as, pro-religion, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business, pro-energy, they also touted themselves with gendered descriptions such as “trail-blazers” and “mothers.” 

Tough and Resilient GOP Women Candidates Against Socialism

Dittmar also found that GOP female candidates tend to highlight their “toughness and resilience, business and conservative bona fides,” and their support for President Trump. Dittmar noted,  “…proving conservative bona fides in the 2020 election – for men and women alike – means standing against socialism.” 

Republican Women: The Right Kind of Political Leadership

The platform that the Republican women ran on is in direct contrast to the hard left agenda of the “Squad.” Dittmar inferred that the anti-Socialist messaging of the female candidates delineated, “an explicit contrast between groups of women, characterizing themselves as the right kind of women for political leadership and the “Squad” as the wrong kind of leadership.” The conservative female candidates’ attacks on the Squad are a reflection of the sentiment that the Democrat party has gone “too far left.” 

Conservative GOP Women Heed Calling to Run for Congress

Like most Americans, these GOP women have worked hard for the American dream. They overcame challenges and adversity.  Most came from socialist countries or have lived through Democrat policies that impacted their lives in a negative way and have influenced their calling to run for federal office. 

Photo provided by the National Federation of Republican Women

Meet the Female Freshmen for Freedom:

Nicole Malliotakis

Nicole Malliotakis, Rep.-elect of New York, wants to form a “Freedom Squad” to counterbalance the “Squad” of hard left Democrats. “We need to form our own ‘squad.’ We have a group of new Republicans who love America. We value freedom, liberty, and opportunity,” Malliotakis told the New York Post. She sees the Squad’s socialist agenda as a “threat to freedom.” 

Malliotakis knows the value of freedom. She is the child of of a mother who fled from Cuba and a father who immigrated from Greece. She stated that she thinks that one of the reasons she, and so many Republican women, chose to run is, “seeing the Democratic women being elected in 2018 that don’t necessarily reflect our values, particularly those who are, you know, selfp-described socialists.”

Nancy Mace

Nancy Mace will be the first GOP female to serve in Congress as a Republican Representative of South Carolina. Representative-elect Mace was the first woman to graduate from the Corps of Cadets of the Citadel Military College of South Carolina. 

“I’m worried about the direction our country is headed because of socialists like the Squad. We need a new Squad based on solutions. Democrats have taken a sharp left turn and attack the very values that make our country great. People flourish under freedom,” Mace states on her campaign page. “I’m running to ensure we bring the antidote in 2020. My kids and my country are counting on it. 2020 is pivotal; it’s all about taking our country out of the cold grip of socialism with a new breed of conservative leadership.”

Maria-Elvira Salazar

Maria-Elvira Salazar of Miami will represent Florida’s 27th congressional district. Salazar knows the dangers of socialism and communism.  Her family fled from Cuba under Fidel Castro. She said on “Fox and Friends” that she was able to flip incumbent Donna Shalala’s seat because of the Democrat party’s aligning with socialism. “I was born in Miami—a community built by survivors. My parents fled Castro’s socialist nightmare,” she posted on Twitter . “We can’t just let the socialist left destroy the American Dream for our children!” 

Beth Van Duyne

Beth Van Duyne won an open seat in Texas 24th Congressional district. Van Duyne has worked hard for the American dream. She overcame adverse circumstances as a 17 year-old on her own, put herself through Cornell University, graduating magna cum laude, and became the first female Mayor of Irving, TX. She worked for the Trump Administration in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  

Van Duyne explained her reasons for running for Congress, “Socialism is on the rise, our border crisis has never been worse, and we face constant threats from hostile nations willing to use cyber-attacks, nuclear weapons, and terrorist jihad. When I think about my two children, I want them to have the same opportunities in life that I did; I want them to be able to grow up safe and proud of our country.” 

Lauren Boebert

Lauren Boebert of Colorado ran on protecting gun rights, energy independence, and adhering to the Constitution. Boebert, a devout Christian and  businesswoman, beat the odds growing up poor and on welfare. She owns Shooter’s Grill, a restaurant where employees open carry firearms while serving customers. Boebert has been vocal about her disdain for the policies pushed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Squad, taking aim at them frequently on her Twitter page.

Although she ran against Scott Tipton (D), she considers Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez her ideological opponent. In a statement launching her campaign, Boebert said, “Hard-working, patriotic Americans like you and me don’t want the Green New Deal and socialized medicine. Every time AOC and the rest of the Squad pipes up with another crazy idea, I will remind them that our belief in God, Country and Family are what built the United States of America into the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) of Iowa won by 6 votes in the closest Congressional race of 2020. This is her 4th run for Congress. She will be the first woman to represent Iowa’s 2nd congressional district.

Miller-Meeks, a physician, retired from the army as a lieutenant colonel after serving 24 years. She was the first in her family to go to college.  Miller-Meeks has been vocal about the threat of socialism and communism on the American way of life. 

“I reaped what I sowed,” Miller-Meeks said in a speech in Burlington, Iowa.” American values are at stake this election, but I also never gave up. I never quit on my future or the American dream that told me I could achieve it, and that’s what’s at stake in this election.” She continued, “My story isn’t my story alone. It’s everyone’s story. It’s every Iowan’s and every American’s, and it’s people all around the world who want to come here, because this still is the place that is the shining city on the hill where you can make a dream come true based on those core values. Not just constitutional core values, not the Bill of Rights – core values, the core values that make this an exceptional country: free enterprise, free markets, liberty.”

Victoria Spartz

Victoria Spartz of Indiana spoke about living in a socialist country on “Fox and Friends.” She recounted, “I grew up in a socialistic country, the Socialist Republic of Ukraine. I saw what happens when it runs out of money and it is not pretty.” Spartz continued, “This system creates a lot of destruction and misery, so we have to be smarter than that. You know, we’re not going to change. There are only two systems: you have freedom and free enterprise and you have a system where the government decides and political elites on top [decide] how we’re going to lead, what we’re going to do.”

Michelle Fischbach

Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota said in a press release, “In response to the Socialist ‘Squad’, we are today forming a ‘Conservative Squad’ to fight back against radical socialism and give the American people a clear choice between more government or more freedom.” She added, “We really want to move Congress away from the extremists of the socialists and move them to results.” Fischbach flipped Rep. Collin Peterson’s seat red in Minnesota’s 7th District.

Young Kim

California’s Young Kim will be the among first Korean-American women to serve in Congress. Kim flipped a seat in an important district in California which was previously rested from Republicans in 2018. Kim, born in South Korea and brought up in Guam, said, “As an immigrant … I know that the promise of America is alive.”

Michelle Steel

Michelle Steel understands that the threat of communism is real; her parents fled communism in North Korea. She will be one of the first women in Congress from South Korea. Steel flipped a seat in California’s 48th District. Her impetus for running for office was watching her mother struggle to navigate defending herself after receiving an unfair bill from the California State Board of Equalization; she later joined its board to provide much-needed reforms.

Yvette Herrell

The first Cherokee woman in Congress will be Yvette Herrell of New Mexico. She will be the first Republican Native American out of three in the history of Congress. Herrell says she decided to go into politics and get more involved with her church after 9/11 when she realized the nation was under attack.

Stephanie Bice

Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma will be the first Iranian-American in Congress. She stated in a press release, “Washington is seized by gridlock and runaway spending and a Democratic House majority that has embraced socialist policies and big government solutions.”

Kat Cammack

Kat Cammack, 32, will be the youngest woman in the history of the GOP in Congress and the youngest woman in the 117th Congress. Cammack was homeless in 2011 after her family lost their cattle ranch due to a failed Obama Program. She became a staffer for Ted Yoho (R-FL), for whom she worked as Deputy Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager. Cammack recounted her impetus for entering politics, “There has been a stereotype about the Republican party, that it was the Grand Old Party, that it was your grandfather’s political party of choice. The election in 2020 has definitely helped push back on that narrative.”

Ashley Hinson

Ashley Hinson of Iowa will be the first woman to represent Iowa’s 67th district. Hinson is an award winning reporter who served as a state representative. Hinson explains her disappointment with the leftist policies in a campaign ad, “For years I reported the news. Today, I can’t even let my kids watch it. Washington politicians yelling, attacks on police, socialists tearing down anyone and anything they disagree with.”  

Lisa McClain

Lisa McClain will be the only Republican woman in the Michigan delegation. In an interview on “Press Pool,” McClain spoke about the red wave of GOP women in Congress. She said, “I think America spoke as it pertains to traditional American values, and I think America spoke in the sense of democracy, and logic, and reason, and quite frankly we elected a lot of women candidates who really had the right mindset and the right ideas. They had the tenacity to get in the fight and win and they did that.”

Mary Miller

Mary Miller, of Illinois, embodies the tenets of faith, family, and freedom.  Miller is a devout Catholic, mother of 7, and grandmother of 17. She is also a farmer and Sunday School teacher. Mary is steadfast about the importance of protecting religious freedom, defending the Right to Life, and other liberties. 

Miller states that, “the socialism being pushed by radical elites will take our country backward. Socialism will bankrupt our nation and not only limit our ability to take care of our own citizens, but also limit our ability to assist developing nations. A stronger America is better for Americans and better for the world at large. Mary Miller is ready, willing and able to take on socialists like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Nancy Pelosi.” 

Marjorie Taylor-Greene

Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia’s 14th Congressional district speaks emphatically about the importance of combating the left-leaning “Squad.” A now-deleted Facebook post read, “We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart.” She stated in another post, “Hate-America leftists want to take this country down…politicians have failed this country. I’m tired of seeing weak, establishment Republicans play defense. Our country is on the line. America needs fighters who speak the truth.”

Diana Harshbarger

Diana Harshbarger is the first woman elected to a full term to represent Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District. Harshbarger has lived the American Dream. She went from being the first high school graduate in her family to becoming a pharmacist and a successful business-owner.  She ran for Congress because she thinks our nation is at a juncture, stating that, “fringe liberals threaten the future of our country with the false promises of socialism.” 

GOP Women Set Momentum to Take Back the House

The record number of Conservative women in the 117th Congress is a clear  rejection of the un-American, Socialist agenda of the Left-leaning Democrat Party, and the drastic policies promoted by the all-female members of the Squad. 

The Squad has fired up a diverse group of American women to run for – and win – seats in Congress. The rejection of the Squad’s extreme platform has resulted in American voters with traditional American values voting for candidates who share their core values. The unprecedented wins of the women who ran and won Congressional seats has resulted in the slimmest Democrat lead in the House since WWII . These GOP women have set the stage for Republicans to continue the momentum to take back the House in 2022.

Author Profile

Ada Nestor
Ada Nestor
Ada Nestor is a writer for NRN, citizen journalist, and mother of three who is always digging beneath the headlines to find the real story. Nestor left the Democrat Party in 2012 and hasn't looked back.