A pediatrician who urged her Republican congressman to oppose Obamacare repeal.
An advocate for foster children who believes President Donald Trump's economic policies helped her majority Hispanic district.
An Air Force veteran who thinks Trump's policies threaten national security.
Those are just a few of the women trying to win a congressional seat this year in their first run for public office. Amid strong feelings about Trump's priorities and an often messy Congress, the number of women seeking office has spiked in 2018.
In congressional races, women are on the verge of smashing records: 276 women have already filed to run for House seats, on pace to easily top a high of 298 set in 2012, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, or CAWP, at Rutgers University. In Senate races, 27 women have filed to run, and new entries from here could break a 2016 record of 40 candidates.
The wave of women candidates has certainly tilted Democratic. Already, 206 women have declared to run for House seats on the Democratic side, compared with 70 Republicans, according to CAWP. In Senate races, 16 Democratic women and 11 Republican women have filed to run.
More women typically run for Congress on the Democratic side. But opposition to policies on health care, reproductive rights, the environment and taxes crafted by Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress, as well as a perceived misogyny coming from the commander in chief, have all driven first-time Democratic candidates to run. Trump's election in 2016 helped spark a spike in enthusiasm and civic engagement for the party, which is pushing to win 24 Republican-held House seats to take a majority in the chamber.
Some women running for the House for the first time on the Republican side partly attribute their move to a desire to support GOP economic policies that they say have propped up their home districts.
Although the number of women running has surged this year, the number of men seeking office has increased, as well. Using its list of potential candidates in January, CAWP estimated the number of Democratic women running for the House could spike 146 percent this year relative to what it estimated at the same time in the 2016 election. Men running on the Democratic side were expected to jump by 126 percent relative to 2016.
Despite the surge, women still made up only about 23 percent of potential congressional candidates tracked by CAWP as of January. While that proportion has climbed from about 19 percent in 2016, it still falls well short of representing the overall population, which is 52 percent women.
Still, the surge of women running this year could at least moderately boost representation in Congress, where women hold only about 20 percent of the 535 seats. Many of the women running for House seats, in particular, are either challenging men or running for an open seat previously held by a man. Many women are running for office for the first time in battleground House seats that will help to determine which party controls the chamber after November.
During the early stages of the primary season, seven women running for office for the first time in key House elections told CNBC why they ran and what more women in Congress would mean to them.