Will 2018 Be The Year Of The Woman? Signs Point To Yes

By Jessica Wehrman
The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Women are running for office in record numbers. The movement gained momentum nearly a year ago when an estimated 500,000 women descended on Washington for the Women’s March.

WASHINGTON

On any given year, EMILY’S List — the Democratic organization that recruits pro-choice women to run for office — draws the interest of a few hundred women thinking of running for office.

From the day after Election Day 2014 to Election Day 2016, for example, 920 women contacted the organization.

But beginning the day after Election Day 2016, more than 26,000 did — a demand stunning enough to force the organization to expand.

The movement gained momentum nearly a year ago when an estimated 500,000 women descended on Washington for the Women’s March one day after President Donald Trump was elected.

And following months of sexual assault and harassment claims that caused a series of powerful men to resign their positions, women are angling for more political heft.

It’s happening in a way that has not been seen since the 1992 Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, a spectacle that culminated in the election of Democratic Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California.

Count Noni Banks, 42, president and CEO of a business and leadership development organization for women, among those motivated to run.

Banks, a Westerville Democrat, thought she’d spend last year supporting other women who decided to run.

But when others urged her to run, she began to consider it. And when the #metoo movement happened, she jumped, announcing her candidacy for Ohio’s 19th General Assembly District.

“It’s irresponsible of me to expect someone else to do something when I’m not willing to do it myself,” she said. “I could not sit on the sidelines anymore.”

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