Vogue: In the Aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s Loss, More Women Want to Run for Office Than Ever Before
By Patricia Garcia
The election of Donald Trump last November was a tough blow for many women who had hoped to finally see the first female president of the United States. Instead of witnessing an experienced female politician be sworn in on Inauguration Day, we were left to contend with a man who frequently makes misogynist remarks who was caught boasting about being able to get away with sexual assault, and an administration that has attacked women’s rights from the get-go. But seven months down the road, there appears to have been a silver lining to Hillary Clinton’s defeat: A record number of women want to run for office. EMILY’s List, the organization that helps mentor, support, and finance campaigns of Democratic, pro-choice female politicians, has reportedly been busier than ever. According to BuzzFeed News, EMILY’s List has experienced such a surge of women interested in running, it has had to expand its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and hire more than 25 staffers to help with the additional work. For an idea of just how invigorated women have become since Trump rose to the presidency, just take a look at the numbers: From the start of 2015 to the end of 2016, 920 women expressed an interest (to EMILY’s List) in running for office. “That was our Hillary bomb,” said EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock. “That was an amazing year for us.” But in 2017, things took a dramatic turn and the number of interested female candidates had grown to more than 16,000. (Call it the Trump “EOTWAWKI”?) As of now, EMILY’s List is actively supporting at least 42 candidates around the country, including Stacey Abrams in Georgia’s gubernatorial race; Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin; and Gwen Graham, running for governor in Florida. (You can see the full list of EMILY’s List candidates here.) As part of its expansion, the organization is also in touch with 130 women interested in running in down-ballot races and has set up EMILY’s List advisers in eight different swing states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, and North Carolina. Another heartening statistic: Half of the 16,000 women who got in touch with EMILY’s List are under 45, so expect a wave of fresh new faces to enter the political arena. With this recent news, it might be a good time to revisit Clinton’s concession speech: “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” she said. “I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.” Looks like we are well on our way.