Last year as election filing time neared, I bemoaned in a blog posting the scarcity of women candidates who had announced that they would be seeking statewide office. “Where are the female candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, public lands commissioner, insurance commissioner and superintendent of public instruction?” I asked.
One notable exception: two women were running for secretary of state (Kim Wyman won).
This time of year is candidate-recruitment season, and a new article in The Atlantic might persuade more women to run. Writer Molly Ball says, “These days, political consultants take for granted that, all else being equal, women make more desirable candidates.”
Why? Women candidates are seen to embody the kind of change frustrated voters seek. And, consultants say, voters “tend to assume women are more trustworthy, less corruptible and more in touch with everyday concerns. In a white-male-dominated political system, women are seen as outsiders.”
So why don’t more women run? Citing Gallup researcher Deborah Jordan Brook, Ball writes:
Brooks believes that women’s own perceptions haven’t caught up with reality. When women run for office, they win just as often as men do. But fewer women run in the first place, perhaps because they’re convinced they will have a tougher time, face more scrutiny, and be subjected to unfair attacks and double standards.
As filing period nears (May 13-17), I’m hoping to see more women catching up with reality and accepting the challenge of running for office.