April 1, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pennsylvania 2014 Primaries Feature More Than 400
Women Candidates for Office
PITTSBURGH—Pennsylvania has never had a female governor, but in 2014 there are two women vying for the office in the Democratic Primary. These two women—Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery County) and Katie McGinty, former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection—join more than 400 other women in pursuing elective office in the state.
Of the 1166 candidates who filed to run in the 2014 primary, 408 (35 percent) of them were women. Of this number, two (Schwartz and McGinty) filed for their party’s nomination for Governor, 11 for U.S. House of Representatives, 14 for State Senate, and 83 for Representative to the State House of Representatives. Another 145 and 153 women are seeking spots on the state’s Democratic and Republican State Committees, respectively. What is the party breakdown of those running for the general assembly? How many are “new” candidates versus incumbents? As is fairly typical nationwide, more women candidates for elective office affiliate with the Democratic Party (27 percent) than the Republican Party (16 percent) in the state.
Pennsylvania has had historically-low levels of representation of women. Today, only 17.8 percent of the state legislature is women and there is only one woman serving as a statewide elected official and one in the congressional delegation. The state ranks 38th in the total number of women in the state legislature (should we state that this ranking is from CAWP?).
Research shows that when women run, they win at the same rates as men. Thus, if the state is going to increase the number of women holding public office, it needs more candidates. The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) supports women considering seeking elective office with the Ready to Run™ Campaign Training For Women programs. Since 2012, the PCWP has hosted these campaign trainings in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, giving women with an interest in seeking political office the education, insights, and skills they need to embark on a successful campaign.
More than 250 women have participated in the Ready to Run™ program in Pennsylvania in the three years the program has been offered. Additionally, the program has 25 alumnae who have filed to run in various offices in the 2014 primary election. Fourteen alums are running for legislative positions and five are vying for a congressional seat. The remaining alumnae are getting a start in partisan politics by seeking a spot on their party’s state committee. Voters cast their ballots in this year’s primary elections on May 20th.
For more information about the PCWP at Chatham University or Ready to Run™ Campaign Training for Women, please contact Dana Brown, Executive Director at 412-365-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org.