U.S. women running for governor in record numbers

April 3 (UPI) — A record number of women have filed to run for gubernatorial positions up for grabs in 2018, a new study shows.

Forty women have filed as major party candidates for governor, passing the previous record of 34, set in 1994, a Center for American Women and Politics release shows. The number could continue to grow, as there are still 17 upcoming state filing deadlines nationwide.

The center, which studies American women’s participation and leadership in politics, is part of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“There are tremendous opportunities for women to advance as chief executives,” center director Debbie Walsh said in the release. “Electing women governors not only places them in powerful executive positions, but it also builds the pipeline of future presidential candidates.”

The 40 women who have filed so farinclude 24 Democrats and 16 Republicans. Three of them are incumbents, 22 are running for open seats in eight states, and 15 are challenging incumbents.

Colorado and Maine have the most women running for governor, with five candidates each.

At least one woman is running for governor in each of the 19 states where filing deadlines have passed.

Of the 36 states with gubernatorial elections this year, 17 have never elected a woman governor.

.