Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Women in the Governor’s Mansion: Highlighting Female Candidates in 2014 Gubernatorial Races

More Women in the Governor's Mansion

Happy New Year!
We’re only 15 days into the new year, and already multiple media and news outlets are declaring 2014 to be the year of Women in Politics. We’ve probably all seen the Washington Post’s Nine Women to Watch in Politics, or Cosmopolitan’s list of 20 Women to Watch in Politics. This past weekend, MSNBC also took to the web to proclaim 2014 the year of the woman.
All three articles convey a similar theme: 2014 will bring a new group of strong female trailblazers who will hopefully remedy the startling lack of female representation we see in the country.
This year, more women than ever before are stepping up and announcing their candidacies to take the reigns as governor. This is huge considering thirty-six states have gubernatorial races in 2014, and many will feature female candidates across both parties.
The most high profile gubernatorial races featuring women are here at home in Massachusetts and in Texas. In Massachusetts, we are fortunate to have two strong female candidates, Martha Coakley and Juliette Kayyem vying for the state’s top seat. The country is also closely watching the developing Texas gubernatorial race, featuring two fearless women, Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte looking to score an all female ticket for governor and lieutenant governor.
Other women to watch include candidates in the Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Rhode Island.
In Wisconsin, Democrat Mary Burke has been racking up donations and endorsements as she prepares to challenge Republican incumbent Scott Walker. Governor Walker has repeatedly voiced his opposition to various women’s issues including abortion, equal pay, and access to women’s healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.
In Pennsylvania, Representative Allyson Schwartz and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Kate McGinty have begun fundraising for their gubernatorial campaigns among eight other Democratic candidates in a race that will be crowded and will likely be determined by dollars and donations.
In Maryland, Heather Mizeur has announced her candidacy. If successful, Mizeur would be the first female and the first openly gay governor in the state’s history. In Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, the current State Treasurer, kicked off her campaign on January 13th. During her announcement, Raimondo outlined her platform as a progressive candidate, and quickly picked up an endorsement from Emily’s List.
This year, there are also four incumbent female governors are up for re-election with almost certain victories. Those are New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Hew Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan.
Next week, we will take a look at 2014’s Senate races and the women seeking some of the most contested seats.

Rebecca Pineiro

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