June 12, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.

N ew Jersey Sets New Record for General Assembly Candidates 
This year, a record 59 women (38D; 21R) will compete in the general election in November for seats in the New Jersey State Assembly, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. In the 2019 election cycle, 63 women (41D; 22R) filed as primary candidates for state Assembly seats. The New Jersey State Senate does not have elections in this cycle.

Of the 59 women who will be on the ballot in November, 25 (20D; 5R) are incumbents, 27 (12D; 15R) are running as challengers, and 7 (6D; 1R) are running for open seats.

The previous record for women general election candidates for the New Jersey State Assembly was 53, set in 2017. The record for the state Senate, also set in 2017, is 25; that record will next be challenged in 2021.

Currently, 37 women serve in the New Jersey State Legislature, comprising 30.8% of members. In the Senate, women hold 10 seats, or 25% of the total number of senators, and in the Assembly, women hold 27 seats, or 33.8% of the total. New Jersey ranks 19th among the 50 states with regards to women's representation in its state legislature, dropping six spots from its previous position after a remarkable year for women in state legislative races around the country in 2018.

Learn more about women's political representation in New Jersey at its state fact sheet on the CAWP website. Information about women in state legislatures nationally can be found at our Women in State Legislatures 2019 fact sheet.

On the Blog: Q&A with 2019 Katherine K. Neuberger Fund Intern Hallie Meisler
2 019 Neuberger Fund Recipient Hallie Meisler
Every year, thanks to the support of the Katherine K. Neuberger Legacy Fund, CAWP supports a political internship in Washington, D.C. The Neuberger Fund, established by Susan N. Wilson in honor of her mother, a prominent figure in New Jersey Republican politics, provides financial support to a Rutgers University -New Brunswick undergraduate who secures their own Washington-based political internship. This week on the CAWP blog, we have an interview with the 2019 recipient of the Neuberger Fund internship, Hallie Meisler, who will be interning this summer with Planned Parenthood. Here's a peek:

What inspires you to get involved with politics?
[A] lack of diversity is what fueled my involvement in politics. I knew that if I wanted my voice and those of the vast majority of Americans to be heard, it would be essential that we move to elect representatives who would pursue policies more supportive of women and minorities at all levels of government. Until women and people of color have proportionate representation in politics, I will have work to do.

You can learn more about Hallie, her internship, and how she plans to put her D.C. experience to work for her future and the greater good at the CAWP blog.
Help us help students like Hallie.
Former Members of Congress Event: The Female Candidate for Office, Challenges and Hurdles
This Thursday, June 13th at the McGowan Theater at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., former congresswomen Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Donna Edwards, (D-MD), and Connie Morella (R-MD), will be joined by former White House Communications Director Ann Lewis for a panel discussion about the persistent obstacles women face as they seek public office. The panel, sponsored by the Association of Former Members of Congress  and the National Archives, will be moderated by Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri (whose Twitter account we truly cannot recommend highly enough), and begins at 7pm. Registration is required.
Susan N. Wilson NEW Leadership® New Jersey 2019!
NEW Leadership® Patron Susan N. Wilson with 2019 Participants
"What I've learned is that the thing deep inside that you don't want to share with anyone is that thing you need to share with everyone. Your secret is your secret sauce."

These words, from  Elizabeth Asaro, the President of the City Council of Lambertville, New Jersey, are just a sample of the advice given to 2019  NEW Leadership ®  New Jersey participants by the many panelists, presenters, and mentors who made the 2019 program a success.

The 2019 Susan N. Wilson NEW Leadership ® summer institute was the first under the stewardship of NEWL ® Director Christabel Cruz, who established an environment that was supportive and mutually empowering, creating a cohort of young women bonded to one another with a shared sense of purpose. Participants were joined for the six days by faculty-in-residence Middlesex County Freeholder Shanti Narra, Maryland State Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, and Running Start CSO Melissa Richmond.

Highlights of the institute include: a keynote address from NEW Leadership® alumna (class of '92) and Democratic nominee for Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Tiffany Palmer; a trip to the state capital, where they were welcomed by former state Senator Diane Allen, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and Secretary of State Tahesha Way; a tour of the State House; observing a voting session of the New Jersey Senate; and panels on careers in government and ways to get involved in politics.

On the final day, students presented their 2019 action project, which focused on real-world New Jersey legislation that seeks to expand access to voter registration. As part of the formulation of the action project, bill sponsor Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter joined a panel with policy experts that included Hunterdon and Union county clerks Mary Melfi and Joanne Rajoppi, as well as representatives from the ACLU and the Brennan Center for Justice. The action project included mock press conferences and legislative hearings. See highlights of NEW Leadership ® New Jersey 2019 at our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

Political Parents
WAMU in Washington, D.C. reports on a controversy after two candidates for county offices in Virginia were asked questions during a Washington Post prospective endorsement interview about whether they could effectively do the work of a public official while also parenting young children. In 2019. Jean Sinzdak told WAMU that, despite moments like this still occurring, "the messaging is shifting in that what we saw in the most recent election cycle is that women really used motherhood as an asset in terms of their campaign." On that same topic, Kelly Dittmar spoke to BYU Radio's Top of the Mind program about how women are using motherhood differently in campaigning, and how women, and men, use gender more broadly when running for office. Meanwhile, National Journal spoke to Debbie Walsh about 2020 presidential campaigns breaking new ground in offering parental leave for staffers, positions whose hectic and fast-paced schedules typically upend work-life balance.

In Other News
Politico takes a look at presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand and her campaign's struggles to catch fire and meet the debate threshold for individual donors. The Christian Science Monitor interviews candidates from 2018 who are ramping up rematches. Our own research has found more than 40 candidates who ran in 2018 and are now considering 2020 runs, both rematches and for different offices. Debbie Walsh talked to McClatchy about Republican Representative Ann Wagner and her hopes to broaden the appeal of the GOP to women and minorities, noting that the failure of GOP House leadership to place Wagner in a leadership position at the NRCC, particularly after GOP women lost ground in the 2018 election, was especially poor optics. Oh, and remember earlier in this newsletter when we recommended that you follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter (HIGHLY RECOMMEND), read her column from last week, " Can we risk nominating a man for president?" It's a delight.
CAWP Calendar

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Rutgers University | New Brunswick
191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8557
(848) 932-9384 - Fax: (732) 932-6778