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More Women Running For Office This Primary Election

May 2, 2018

For Immediate Release

EMAIL   |   919-523-7761

 

According to statistics complied by the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, far more women in the state are running for office in the 2018 primary election than in the 2014 primary.

“I think the most recent presidential election and the #MeToo movement has inspired many women to get involved in politics like they never have before,” said League of Women Voters of North Carolina Co-president Janet Hoy. “Women have always been politically active, but have sometimes been hesitant to actually run for office themselves. There’s been a major shift in just the last few months. Women are realizing that to build the kind of country they want for themselves and their families, they’re going to have to take on more leadership roles.”

According to League officials, there are simply more candidates running in 2018 overall, so naturally the number of women running for office would also be expected to increase. However, women also account for a much larger percentage of candidates running.

For instance, in the 2014 primary election (the last primary where there was no presidential election), 24 women ran for seats on the North Carolina General Assembly. This year, there are 119 women on the ballot for General Assembly seats. In House of Representatives races, 29% of candidates are women, compared to 17% in 2014. League officials say this is a positive development not just for women, but also for all voters.

“The good news is we have so many qualified women candidates that it’s giving voters more options from which to choose. That’s always a good thing,” said League of Women Voters of North Carolina Statewide Coordinator for Fair Elections Jennifer Bremer.

League officials say they expect the trend of women running for office to have lasting impact as women gain experience in lower office and decide to run for higher offices in the future.

“It will be really interesting to keep an eye on city and county candidates and see where those women are 5 or 10 years from now,” said Bremer. “Many elected officials gain valuable experience in local office before setting their sights on state or national offices.”

The League of Women Voters is encouraging North Carolinians to participate in the 2018 primary election by utilizing the organization’s VOTE411.org website. The site is a nonpartisan election information hub in which voters can access their sample ballot, polling locations, and candidate questionnaires in order to make informed decisions.

The League sent issue questionnaires to every candidate in every race in the state, and many candidates, especially women, have taken advantage of this opportunity to reach voters.

“With Vote411.org, we’re giving these candidates a unique opportunity to express their views on the issues in their own words, and that’s a really powerful tool,” said Hoy. “We hope that voters will visit the site to get to know the women – and men – running for office so they can make informed decisions.”

Early voting lasts through Saturday, May 5 and Election Day is Tuesday, May 8.

Visit www.VOTE411.org for more information.

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About the League of Women Voters: The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For additional information, please visit www.lwv.org or www.lwvnc.org. Like VOTE411 on Facebook – or follow us on Twitter: @VOTE411.