Spring 2018



Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 25, 2018

Posted on Blog on May 25, 2018

Four states held primaries/runoffs this week: Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Arkansas. I worked hard in 1989 to elect Douglas Wilder to be the first male Black governor elected in the United States so it's particularly exciting to report that Stacey Abrams won the primary in Georgia and now moves forward to the general election. A win in November would make Abrams the first female Black governor in the US. The New York Times reported on her win and Kelly Dittmar from the Center for American Women & Politics provides yet another terrific summary of election outcomes:


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 18, 2018

Posted on Blog on May 18, 2018

Another round of primaries this week resulted in wins for women in crowded primaries at the state and federal level - as the New York Times reports: Just as the women’s marches and #MeToo helped define 2017, the surging numbers of female candidates have defined the midterm races now underway. Yet for all that, the November elections may not produce a similar surge in the number of women in Congress. More than half the female candidates for House and Senate seats are challenging incumbents, who historically almost always win; there were far more wide-open races in 1992’s so-called Year of the Woman, which doubled the number of women in Congress. A large percentage of the women now running for open seats are in districts that favor the other party. And many female candidates are clustered in the same districts, meaning many will be eliminated in this spring and summer’s primaries. Last Tuesday’s primary elections in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina help illustrate the steep path. Two women ran for Senate, both were long shots, and both lost. In House races, 27 women won — more than half. But 16 will challenge incumbents in November, 15 of them in districts firmly favoring their opponents...


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 11, 2018

Posted on Blog on May 11, 2018

I'll start this week with some truly great news! The Washington Post was among a number of news outlets that covered the FEC's decision to allow candidates to pay for childcare from money raised for their campaign. RepresentWomen has been talking about this and other rules changes that level the playing field for women in politics so it's great to see this precedent being set. Post columnist Julie Zauzner writes: Candidates for office can use campaign funds to pay for child care in certain cases, the Federal Election Commission ruled on Thursday in a case heralded by some activists as a victory for working women. First-time congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley, a Long Island Democrat, had petitioned the FEC for permission to pay her babysitter out of money donated to her campaign. Grechen Shirley, who previously cared for her children full time, argued that she needed the sitter only for her bid for office and that the payment therefore constituted a campaign expense.




Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 27, 2018

Posted on Blog on April 27, 2018

Politico reports that Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) won the special election to the House of Representatives this week bringing the number of republican women in the House to 23. While the tight race yielded a pickup for GOP women the total number of republican women in the House has declined in that last decade from a high of 25 in 2005-2007. Republican Debbie Lesko won the House special election in Arizona Tuesday night, holding off a closer-than-expected Democratic challenge in a district that President Donald Trump won by 21 points in 2016. Lesko had 53 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race an hour after the polls closed, with over 155,000 early votes tallied. Democrat Hiral Tipirneni had 47 percent of the vote. But Lesko’s single-digit margin is the latest evidence that Republicans face a punishing midterm environment, even in Trump-friendly territory. Lesko’s victory comes on the heels of losses for Republicans in southwestern Pennsylvania, where Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb beat Republican Rick Saccone in a district that backed Trump by nearly 20 points in 2016, and in Alabama, where Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore last year. In many other special elections that Democrats have lost, the vote has shifted sharply in their direction compared to the 2016 presidential results.



Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 20, 2018

Posted on Blog on April 20, 2018

Kristina Wilfore has launched a new podcast called Fatima's Hand that will profile "change agents across the globe fighting for women's equality. Combining politics with everyday activism, hear inspiring stories and practical advice from women in the Middle East, Africa and Europe." The first episode features an interview with a 23 year-old woman who ran for the Nairobi Senate. You can find Fatima's Hand on SoundCloud as well