By Jennifer Haberkorn
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said,”There has been this long tradition of men leveraging their military service into political service,” … “And now you’re seeing women do that… They’re doing just what the men have done.”
A record number of female combat veterans are on the ballot in congressional races this fall, a test of whether women can repeat the success American men have long enjoyed of by turning military experience into political careers.
The nine candidates have the potential to more than double the number of female combat veterans in Congress, the first two of whom were elected only six years ago. And while six of the nine candidates are Democrats, their success or failure could be a trial run for both parties in future elections.
“There has been this long tradition of men leveraging their military service into political service,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who was elected to the House in 2012. “And now you’re seeing women do that. … They’re doing just what the men have done.”
The increase traces directly back to the military’s decision to open combat roles to women in 1993, when many of the current candidates were just starting their careers. A quarter-century later, those women have retired from the military and see Congress as a logical next step.
“I flew 89 combat missions in the U.S. Marine Corps and my 90th mission is running for Congress,” Amy McGrath, a retired lieutenant colonel who is running in the 6th Congressional District in Kentucky, says in a campaign ad.
The candidates also represent a part of what has become a monumental election cycle with record numbers of Democratic female candidates, many of whom say they were inspired by the 2017 Women’s March and are running to be a check on President Donald Trump.