(Reuters) - Democrats and Republicans have nominated women as candidates in a record 181 U.S. Senate and House races that will be decided in November's general election, the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University said on Thursday.
The number of women nominated for U.S. House seats surged to 163 for the November election, breaking the previous record of 141 in 2004, the Center said.
The parties nominated 18 women for U.S. Senate seats, compared with the 2004 record of 14.
Debbie Walsh, the Center's director, said the increase in nominations for congressional seat was the biggest since 1992, which was dubbed the "Year of the Woman."
"Many of the same factors are in play: the crucial first election after reapportionment and redistricting, news events underscoring the need for women's voices in policymaking, and a presidential election year generating political excitement," Walsh said in a statement.
About 70 percent of the women were nominated by the Democratic Party, which had an advantage over the Republican Party in incumbents seeking reelection, the Center said.
Democrats nominated women in 12 Senate races and 116 House races, including incumbents for six Senate seats and 45 House seats. Republicans nominated women in six Senate races and 47 House races, including incumbents defending 21 House seats.
Women were nominated by Democrats and Republicans in U.S. Senate races in California, Hawaii and New York. Women also are running in a dozen U.S. House races. The total of 15 races ties a record set in 1998, the Center said.
(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Tom Brown)