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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

One Democratic Woman Governor in U.S.

At National Journal ‘Hotline on Call’ blog, Scott Bland’s “EMILY’s List Sets Sights on Statehouses in 2014” notes that Dems only have one woman governor right now, Maggie Hassan in NH. It’s a deplorable statistic for a party that purports to be more inclusive, one which ought to make Dems do a little more thinking about our recruitment strategy. Fortunately, Emily’s List is on the case, and is discussing possible candidacies with 15 women. Bland adds:

Numerous high-profile Democratic women are already laying the groundwork for 2014 gubernatorial runs, whether against Republicans or fellow Democrats. Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz has said she is interested in running against GOP Gov. Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. In Illinois, Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reportedly “very close” to deciding to run (against unpopular Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn) there, while Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is mulling a primary challenge against Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (or a Senate bid).
Schriock mentioned Rhode Island — “Gina Raimondo is going to jump in and run, that’s another exciting one,” she said — where independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee is a vulnerable incumbent; Raimondo, the general treasurer, has positive approval ratings. Schriock also said she hoped that women candidates would jump to the fore in Maine and Florida, among many states.
Though congressional Democrats make sure issues like the long-stalled Violence Against Women Act become national stories, the main events in Democrats’ “war on women” narrative the past two years have come from state governments helmed by Republican governors. Schriock said women gubernatorial candidates will be particularly well-equipped to take advantage this cycle. For various reasons, not least the 2010 Republican wave, the number of Democratic women governors has dwindled to one as the number of Democratic women legislators has risen, both in Congress and at the state level. There are 58 female Democratic House members and over 1,100 Democratic women in state legislatures across the country, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Many were elected with EMILY’s List’s support.

Four Republican women are currently serving as governors of AZ, NM, OK and SC, which is not all that impressive either. But clearly Dems have to do better if we want to gain credibility as a genuinely inclusive party and if we want to increase our share of women voters in statewide elections.
Emily’s list does have some resources for “pro-choice Democratic women” who want to run for office at this link. The Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics has a clickable map showing education and training resources for women who want to run for office for the 50 states. Emerge America also has training resources for Democratic women right here.

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