A record number of women are running for the House this year

Key Points
  • A record number of women are running in House elections this year.
  • The major parties are battling for control of the chamber in November.
  • Women currently hold only about 20 percent of congressional seats.
Attendees cheer a speaker during the Women's March 'Power to the Polls' voter registration tour launch at Sam Boyd Stadium on January 21, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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More women are now running for House seats than ever.

As of Friday, 309 women had filed to run for election in the chamber, breaking a record of 298 set in 2012, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Only 30 states' filing deadlines have passed, meaning more women will enter the midterm races. The surge in candidates comes as Republicans try to hold on to a House majority in November.

Already this year, the 44 declared women running for governor beat the previous record of 34 candidates.

President Donald Trump's election has sparked a spike in enthusiasm and civic engagement among Democrats, who outnumber Republicans in declared House candidates this year. So far, 231 women have filed to run on the Democratic side, versus 78 Republicans.

Democratic women seeking House seats for the first time recently told CNBC why they are running for office. Opposition to Trump and GOP policies on health care, reproductive rights, taxes and national security, among other issues, contributed to their decisions to run.

Some women running on the Republican side are doing so in part to support GOP economic policies that they say have helped their districts.

While the number of women running for office has spiked this year, the number of men running has climbed, too. Women still made up only about 23 percent of potential congressional candidates tracked by CAWP as of January.

Women currently hold only about 20 percent of the 535 congressional offices.

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The number of women running for office is rising. 7 first-time House candidates explain why they're running in the age of Trump