April 02, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
Can't Miss Event: Black Women Leaders Talk Friendship, Activism, and Politics Behind the Scenes 
On Monday, April 29th, CAWP will welcome Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore for a conversation about their book For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics . The four will headline this year's Senator Wynona Lipman Chair in Women's Political Leadership public program. Based on their extensive experience as political operatives and strategists, they tell the story of modern American political history through their careers and their friendship. The authors will appear at the Douglass Student Center at 7pm on the 2 9th . Learn more about the Lipman chair , its namesake , and our 2019 chairs .

Remember How There Are Elections This Year?
The 2020 election started before it was even 2019, and it's thrilling to see a record number of women seeking the presidency, but did you know that there are also elections this year? Filing deadlines have already passed for state elections in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia, and New Jersey while Louisiana's comes later this year. The CAWP Crew TM has already started compiling data on the women running for office. You can check out our Women Candidates in 2019 page to see the women who've filed to run for office for statewide executive offices in Kentucky and Mississippi, as well as state legislature candidates in Mississippi and declared candidates in Louisiana. This page will also have updates on 2019 special elections, including those for U.S. Congress, and right now you can see the women contenders in two House special elections in North Carolina.
Oh Hey, There's An Election TONIGHT
It's Election Day in Chicago, and when the results come in Chicago will have its first Black woman mayor-elect. Earlier this year, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle advanced to a run-off election, and whoever emerges as the winner will become the first Black woman to lead the Windy City. Chicago will also become the largest American city in history to be led by a Black woman mayor. Stay tuned to CAWP's Twitter account tonight to get results; polls close at 7pm local time, 8pm on the East Coast. To get some background about this historic race, take a look at this Chicago Tribune article, featuring CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar, that examines the dynamics of this campaign. To learn more about women of color in political office, see CAWP's fact sheets with current and historical data.
New Jersey Marks New Milestone
Last month, CAWP released part one of its New Jersey County Report Card, covering county freeholders and mayors in the state, and the report shows that, in 2019, New Jersey has more women freeholders than any time in history. Currently, 44 women hold freeholder positions around New Jersey, making up 33% of all freeholders in the state. In addition, 14 women of color serve as freeholders, 10% of the total, including 7 Black women, 5 Latinas, and 2 Asian Pacific Islander women. Around the state, 86 women serve as mayors, an increase from 80, but women still comprise only 15% of all New Jersey mayors. The New Jersey County Report Card also provides a county ranking based on the proportion of women serving in these positions. The top three counties for women's representation on freeholder boards are Somerset (60%), Bergen (57%), and Union (56%), where women hold a majority of the available positions. By contrast, both Salem and Warren counties have zero women serving as freeholders. Union (38%), Mercer (33%), and Hunterdon (27%) counties have the highest proportion of women serving as mayors. The bottom seven counties in our mayoral rankings see women holding less than 10% of those offices, and Hudson County has zero women among its 12 mayors.

Part two of our New Jersey County Report Card will be released in the coming months, and will be comprised of data on city council members throughout the state, as well as an overall county ranking compiled from the freeholder, mayor, and council member rankings. Stay tuned.
You Make Me Feel Brand NEWL® 
The next generation of women leaders won't appear spontaneously; their ideas need consideration, their curiosities nurtured, their ambitions encouraged. CAWP's NEW Leadership ® program prepares college women interested in politics with workshops on leadership and activism, professional skill-building, and networking opportunities with successful practitioners. The flagship NEW Leadership ® program in New Jersey will take place from June 6th to the 11th in New Brunswick, and is open to rising juniors and seniors in four-year New Jersey colleges and universities, as well as all students in two-year programs. Know a talented young woman with leadership potential? The application deadline is April 16th, so encourage them to apply today!

Know a talented young woman with leadership potential that doesn't happen to live in New Jersey? Our national network of NEWL ® partners administer programs around the country. Find one near you.
Help us help the young women leaders of tomorrow.


Presidential Watch: Men of the Year

For this edition of News & Notes Presidential Watch, we're taking a look at men in 2020, as the media has been interrogating the effects of having multiple women running on the shape the race will take. Arit John, in Bloomberg, talked to Kelly Dittmar about how removing "white + male" as the default for a presidential candidate is leading the men in the race to examine their own gender and what it means for their decision-making. Dittmar also spoke to NPR about a similar topic, telling them that male candidates answering questions about whiteness and maleness "just has them answering the same questions that women and candidates of color have always been asked."

With rumors about a Joe Biden presidential run continuing to swirl, outlets are taking a hard look at his role in the Anita Hill hearings and his failures of leadership at the time. In true Voxian fashion, Li Zhou compiled an explainer about the Hill-Thomas hearings, Biden's place in them as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and how he responds to criticism of his stewardship of the confirmation process. The Washington Post takes a look at how the re-examination of Biden's treatment of Anita Hill will affect his position in a Democratic primary. Meanwhile, former Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores published an essay on The Cut that describes an encounter with Joe Biden at a campaign event in which he touched her and kissed her head in a manner she found inappropriately intimate and uncomfortable, which led to a renewed discussion of Biden's history of overly familiar physical contact with women. Last on the Biden Beat, rumors that Stacey Abrams would join his campaign early in the VP slot led to some discussion of the wisdom of a rising star attaching herself to another candidate's campaign to help legitimize him with segments of the primary electorate. In The Washington Post, Karen Tumulty sums it up with the title "Don't Do It, Stacey Abrams," while a 538 chat examined any upsides for Abrams in her future career, considering the 538 team's doubts about Biden's ultimate success in securing the nomination. In the end, Abrams announced she wouldn't commit to the VP slot, saying "You don't run for second place."

It's Like That Now, Is It?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced new rules last month that would blacklist vendors and consultants who had done work for campaigns that mounted primary challenges against sitting House members. The reaction to the new rule was swift, particularly among the freshman members of Congress. Ayanna Pressley spoke out first on Twitter and then to WBUR, talking about the ways this policy would hinder efforts to diversify politics, both in terms of gender and race, as incumbency remains a powerful advantage, and the vast majority of political offices are still held by white men. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, like Pressley, unseated a Democratic congressman in a primary, also reacted on Twitter, and she turned her condemnation of the new rule into a call to arms to directly support freshman lawmakers who won in swing districts in 2019. While many critics pointed out that the new rule would hobble talented newcomers like Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez, in its coverage of the controversy The Washington Post noted that these changes might end up protecting new members of the caucus's left flank, as both Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib may soon face challenges in their districts.

First Gentlemen

When Hillary Clinton ran for the presidency in 2016, her husband was already a public figure. What will it mean for the spouses of the women running for the office, all of whom are currently largely unknown, to participate in the public process of a political campaign? The National Journal talks to Kelly Dittmar about how a highly masculinized office like the presidency will be changed by a woman in office, and what that means for the aspiring First Gentlemen. Politico talks about a packed primary field crowding out the spouses, leaving them mainly still mysterious, so it might yet be some time before we begin to see what the role of a candidate's husband might look like. With Pete Buttigieg gaining national prominence, however, we might just see the first First Gentleman accompanying the first openly gay president, and Politico Magazine has an article about Chasten Buttigieg and how he and the women running for president might upend the gender norms surrounding the functions of the first spouse.

In Other News

The Washington Post writes about the cascading scandals affecting the statewide elected officials in Virginia and how that might clear a path for the state to see its first Black woman governor. Yahoo News writes about the emerging power of Black women as political donors, and how that might benefit Kamala Harris. Vox writes about Kirsten Gillibrand's family leave policy rollout and how she's centering the topic in her campaign, while Elizabeth Warren, in another addition to her growing list of specific, concrete policy proposals, laid out plans to support family farms and shift emphasis away from corporate agriculture, as reported in the Des Moines Register. In The New York Times, Vivian Wang writes about the century-long history of women in New York state government, and how that history laid the groundwork for 2019, with the first woman Senate Majority Leader, the first Black woman elected to statewide executive office, and more women serving the state legislature than ever before. Tara Golshan, writing for Vox, looks at the concept of "authenticity" and how its gendered definition might continue to be a roadblock for women candidates, with Kelly Dittmar talking to her about women candidates and the precarious balance between appearing overly wonky while also having to prove their credentials more than men. Will one of the women running for president in 2020 solve the authenticity riddle? Guess we'll find out.
CAWP Calendar

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Rutgers University | New Brunswick
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