May 5, 2016
John B. Losser
Despite the oft-repeated line from the left that Republicans are conducting a “war on women,” the GOP is filled with strongly principled women and many traditional conservatives who make their voices heard loud and clear.
The National Federation of Republican Women numbers close to 100,000 members nationwide, and conservative females are heavily represented in state, local, and federal government, including in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. One was even in the running for president this cycle.
Here, Newsmax has compiled a list of 50 of the most influential female Republicans who will play a key role in shaping America’s future.
1. Sarah Palin — The former governor of Alaska was up for vice president in 2008 and has been an outspoken Tea Party leader, television star, author, and political commentator.
2. Cathy McMorris Rodgers — The congresswoman from Washington since 2005 is the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, a position that makes her the highest-ranking woman in Congress.
3. Laura Ingraham — A best-selling conservative author, editor-in-chief of LifeZette, and host of the “Laura Ingraham Show,” as well as the guest host for Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” and a contributor on ABC News’ “This Week.”
4. Nikki Haley — The current governor of South Carolina who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union message in January, Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to a family of Indian Sikh immigrants and was elected governor in 2010.
5. Kelly Ayotte — The junior senator from New Hampshire, Ayotte was elected in 2010 and holds a doctorate of law from Villanova University.
6. Mary Fallin — Now the governor of Oklahoma, Fallin previously served as the state’s lieutenant governor and also put in two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
7. Peggy Noonan — The leading conservative author and conservative columnist for The Wall Street Journal is a member of the Manhattan Institute’s Board of Trustees and a television commentator. Served as primary speechwriter and special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
8. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — The most senior U.S. representative from Florida is the first Cuban-American and the first Latina elected to Congress. Also served as the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 2011 to 2013.
9. Ana Navarro — A native of Nicaragua, Navarro is a leading Republican strategist who served as co-chair of Sen. John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council and as Gov. Jeb Bush’s Director of Immigration Policy. Also a political contributor on CNN.
10. Nancy Brinker — A New York Times best-selling author, Brinker serves as the chair of global strategy for Susan G. Komen, the breast cancer organization named for her sister, who was just 36 when she died of the disease in 1980. Worked in the George W. Bush administration as Chief of Protocol of the United States from 2007 to 2009, the same year she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
11. Jan Brewer — The former governor of Arizona is an outspoken conservative who has supported strong border protection and voiced opposition to same-sex marriage. Author of the best-selling book, “Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border.”
12. Marsha Blackburn — Represents Tennessee’s 7th congressional district since her election in 2002.
13. Joni Ernst — A junior senator from Iowa, Ernst is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard and served in the Iowa state Senate from 2011 to 2014, when she was elected to the U.S. Senate.
14. Carly Fiorina — The former candidate for the Republican nomination for president and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard was the first female to lead a top 20 company. Author of the autobiography, “Tough Choices,” as well as a former on-air contributor for Fox Business Network. Ted Cruz also briefly named Fiorina his vice presidential running mate before the Texas senator suspended his campaign.
15. Mary Matalin — A leading Republican political strategist, Matalin worked with President Ronald Reagan and served as campaign director for President George H.W. Bush. Also hosted CNN’s “Crossfire” and her own talk radio show, “The Mary Matalin Show.”
16. Mia Love — The congresswoman from Utah is the first Haitian-American and first black female Republican in Congress and the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. Elected to the House in 2014.
17. Susana Martinez — The current governor of New Mexico and chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, Martinez is the first female governor of New Mexico and the first female Hispanic governor in the U.S.
18. Nicolle Wallace — A frequent guest host on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and one-time co-host of “The View,” Wallace served in the George W. Bush administration as communications chief and went on to work as a senior adviser for the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008.
19. Cleta Mitchell — Attorney, former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and a conservative activist, Mitchell served as legal counsel for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the NRA.
20. Katie Packer — Packer, Mitt Romney’s former deputy campaign manager in 2012, is a veteran Republican strategist who founded Our Principles PAC, an anti-Trump super PAC “focused on conservative principles and ensuring that voters have the necessary information to make a wise decision on Election Day,” she told Politico earlier this year.
21. Pam Bondi — A former prosecutor, Bondi now serves as one of Florida’s most powerful elected officials — attorney general. Prior to her election, she appeared often on Fox News as a legal analyst.
22. Kathleen Shanahan — A prominent Florida businesswoman who found success in both business and politics, Shanahan served as chief of staff for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Vice President-elect Dick Cheney, and worked as a special assistant to then-Vice President George Bush and staff assistant on President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council. Currently serves as chairman and CEO of URETEK Holdings, Inc.
23. Callista Gingrich — The president of Gingrich Productions and wife of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, Callista Gingrich is a power player in her own right. Served as chief clerk of the House Committee on Agriculture from 1995 to 2007 and authored several New York Times’ Best Seller children’s books.
24. Ann Coulter — The outspoken conservative columnist, attorney, and author of 11 books — including several best-sellers — has served as a legal correspondent for MSNBC, as well as a guest commentator on many television shows, including “The O’Reilly Factor,” “The Today Show,” “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “The Sean Hannity Show,” and a host of others.
25. Katrina Pierson — Once called a “feisty fighter for freedom” by Sarah Palin, Pierson is a Tea Party activist who serves as the national spokesperson for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
26. Susan Collins — The senator from Maine was first elected in 1996 and is the Senate’s most senior Republican woman. Deep ties to Caribou, Maine, where her family runs a five-generation lumber business that was started in 1844.
27. Sarah Elizabeth “S.E.” Cupp — A conservative political commentator and writer who was a panelist on CNN’s “Crossfire,” Cupp is the author of “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity.”
28. Liz Cheney — An attorney and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney is a Republican conservative activist and co-founder of Keep America Safe, which seeks to promote American military strength. Co-author, along with her father, of “Exceptional: Why The World Needs a Powerful America.”
29. Cynthia Coffman — The current attorney general of Colorado first served as legal counsel to former Gov. Bill Owens.
30. Kim Guadagno — The first lieutenant governor of New Jersey (the state was one of the few that did not have one) also doubles as the N.J. secretary of state.
31. Jenean Hampton — The lieutenant governor of Kentucky is the first African-American to hold any statewide office there. A captain in the United States Air Force, she was deployed to Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
32. Kim Reynolds — A former state senator from Iowa, Reynolds now serves as the lieutenant governor of that state. Co-chairs and sits on many councils and boards, including the governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Advisory Council; the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board; and the Military Children Education Coalition.
33. Evelyn Sanguinetti — The lieutenant governor of Illinois is the first Hispanic to be elected to that position and the first Hispanic female lieutenant governor in the country.
34. Kay Ivey — The one-time Alabama state treasurer is now the lieutenant governor of the Yellowhammer State.
35. Mary Taylor — The lieutenant governor of Ohio successfully climbed the ranks of state politics, from city council to Ohio General Assembly to state auditor.
36. Rebecca Kleefisch— This former TV newscaster is currently serving as the lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. Also the first person in that position to ever face and win a recount election in 2012.
37. Lisa Murkowski — The senior senator from Alaska has served in the Senate since 2002, winning office in 2010 as a write-in candidate.
38. Elise Stefanik — Became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 30 in 2014. A U.S. representative from New York, Stefanik serves on the Armed Services and Education and the Workforce Committees. A Harvard graduate who also worked on the White House staff in the George W. Bush administration.
39. Condoleezza “Condi” Rice — The first black woman ever to serve as U.S. national security adviser and secretary of state, Rice also spoke before the Republican National Convention in 2000. Co-author of four books, including “Germany United and Europe Transformed.” Also an accomplished golfer and pianist.
40. Marjorie Dannenfelser — The president and founder of the Susan B. Anthony List, which assists pro-life female candidates in running for office, also served as staff director of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.
41. Michelle Malkin — Conservative blogger, political commentator, and author, whose syndicated weekly column appears on a number of websites, Malkin is the founder of Twitchy.com and Hot Air. Boasts an enormous online presence with more than 950,000 Twitter followers and 1.7 million Facebook fans.
42. Christine Todd Whitman — New Jersey’s first female governor went on to serve as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush. Author of “It’s My Party, Too: Taking Back the Republican Party and Bringing the Country Together Again,” and founder of the political action group IMP-PAC, which merged into the Republican Leadership Council’s PAC. Currently runs the Whitman Strategy Group.
43. Deb Fischer — The senior senator from Nebraska was elected in 2012 and serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.
44. Shelley Moore Capito — The senator from West Virginia served seven terms in the House before running for Senate and winning in 2014 as the first female senator in the Mountain State’s history. Daughter of former Gov. Arch Moore.
45. Diane Black — The representative from Tennessee was first elected in 2010 and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.
46. Erin Stewart — In 2013, at age 26, Stewart ousted Democrat Tim O’Brien in a contest for the mayorship of New Britain, Connecticut, and won a resounding re-election this past November. According to The Hartford Courant, “Republicans in the state are talking about Stewart as a possible candidate for governor in 2018, while Democrats at the Capitol wonder if she might take a run at U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s seat this fall.”
47. Michele Bachmann — A GOP presidential hopeful in the 2012 election, Bachmann represented Minnesota’s 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives and was a member of the Minnesota Senate. Founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.
48. Susan Brooks — The congresswoman from Indiana is the former deputy mayor of Indianapolis and former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, appointed by President George W. Bush.
49. Kay Granger — The congresswoman from Texas was the first Republican woman to represent her state in the U.S. House. First assumed office in 1997.
50. Leslie Rutledge — Before being elected the first Republican and first female attorney general of Arkansas in 2014, Rutledge founded and practiced law at her eponymous firm.
Newsmax's 50 Most Influential Female Republicans
- on May 5, 2016