September 17, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
Remembering Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts in 1983 at the inaugural CAWP Forum for 
W omen  State Legislators with then-Congresswomen 
Pat Schroeder  and Olympia Snowe.

All of us at CAWP are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Cokie Roberts. Cokie cared deeply about the changing role women play in American politics, and that was no surprise: politics was in her genes. Both her father and mother served in Congress and her sister, Barbara Boggs Sigmund, was the mayor of Princeton, NJ and a candidate for the US Senate. Cokie devoted much of her writing to telling the largely untold story of women in American history, including the book she was most recently working on, which focused on the struggle for women's suffrage. Over the years Cokie spoke numerous times at the Eagleton Institute of Politics and at many of our programs for women public officials, including our very first Forum for Women State Legislators in 1983. In addition, Cokie was always willing to share her wisdom with our students either here on the Rutgers campus or when we brought students to Washington DC. We will miss her thoughtful insights on the political scene, her keen wit, and, of course, her warmth and generosity. Our hearts go out to her family.

Listen to NPR remembering their colleague Cokie Roberts here.

CAWP Launches 2020 Candidate Summary
Today, CAWP has  launched its 2020 candidate summary , featuring a synopsis of women likely running for Senate, House, gubernatorial, and other statewide elected executive offices. This summary also includes important context including retiring incumbents, returning incumbents, women running as challengers, and current records for filed candidates, primary winners, and women serving. This summary will be updated consistently throughout the 2020 election cycle, so bookmark this page   to find all the most up-to-date information on the number of women running for office in 2020 and be the first to know when women make new breakthroughs in political representation.

 Up for Debate
The third Democratic presidential primary debate was held last week on the campus of Texas Southern University, an HBCU in Houston, Texas. Among the candidates who qualified for this round of debates were Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren; the two other women still in the race, Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson, failed to qualify. Per usual, the CAWP team and our friends in the scholar and practitioner community discussed the debate live on Twitter using the tag #GenderLens2020, where participants discussed how the candidates onstage related public policy issues to women's lives, interpersonal dynamics on the debate stage, the critical addition to the conversation brought by a woman of color serving as moderator (for the first time in this debate cycle), and more. Check out the conversation at #GenderLens2020, or see highlights from some of our participants in this debate round-up from The New York Times.

Caucus Record
According to The Des Moines Register, there are a record seven women serving as state directors of Iowa caucus campaigns for the Democratic presidential primary race. For context, in the past three caucus cycles, only three women  in total have served in the same position on Democratic caucus campaigns in Iowa. Breaking through the traditionally male-dominated space of campaign management, at all levels, puts women in the room in discussions on how campaigns are run and what candidates focus on in their messaging to voters.

Back at it Again
Gina Ortiz Jones, Julie Oliver, and M.J. Hegar
For the 2020 election cycle, we're tracking women candidates who  ran in 2018
 unsuccessfully and are taking another swing in 2020 . People are making  note of the trend.  The Washington Post 's Kayla Epstein focuses on Democrat M.J. Hegar in Texas and Republican  Karen Handel of Georgia, among others, and cites CAWP data on rebound candidates for a discussion of the number of women looking at taking another chance at winning office in 2020. Megan Kimble, writing for The Texas Tribune , discusses the large number of Texas women who are running again in 2020, including Hegar, Gina Ortiz-Jones (whose 2018 competitor in a tight race has declined to run again), and Julie Oliver, and she also went on CBS News to discuss her article. According to CAWP data , Texas has more women seeking election in 2020 after a 2018 loss than any other state.

News from the Trail
Rebecca Traister writes on The Cut about the habit of the media industry, including herself, to focus questions of sexism and racism on the targets of racism and sexism, rather than on the perpetrators and those who benefit on systemic racism and misogyny, pegging her story to coverage of the Elizabeth Warren campaign. Refinery 29 spoke to Debbie Walsh about women donors in the 2020 race and which candidates they're backing. The electability theme continues to be a major part of the conversation about the presidential race: the BBC spoke extensively to Kelly Dittmar about bias faced by women candidates; USA Today talked to Debbie Walsh for a story about Elizabeth Warren and how voters perceive her chances; and The Christian Science Monitor cited CAWP data on state legislatures in a piece about Democratic anxieties surrounding the question of whether a woman could beat Trump next November.

Consider yourself called to action! 

Make a $50 or $100 gift to help fund 
CAWP's Presidential Watch and Election Watch projects today.
Loretta Weinberg Documentary in the Works 
Our friend and CAWP Legacy Fund donor Loretta Weinberg, who currently serves as the New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader, is the subject of an upcoming documentary, The Girl in the Backroom. The film focuses specifically on Weinberg's role in uncovering the details of the Christie administration scandal that became known as "Bridgegate." You can learn more about the documentary, and watch a preview, on the film's page on Film Independent.

Ready to Run ® , Ready to Speak
CAWP recently hosted a public speaking workshop through our Ready to Run ® program, Effective Presentation and Communication, led by Karla M. Jackson. Participants learned how to hone their messages and find a speaking style suited to their own personalities, and each participant had an opportunity for hands-on practice and feedback during the workshop. One participant, Rossy Olusala, said the workshop was "awesome, though it was super scary to go up there and tell my story. Karla gave us great feedback and hearing other people's stories just made me appreciate that we all have a voice, we just need to use it. The workshop is also a safe space, and she gave us constructive, positive feedback. It was always: 'you did great, now here's something you can work on.'"

Warren Supporting Women
Teen Vogue published a story last week that offered a behind-the-scenes look at the ways that Elizabeth Warren supports women running for office around the country. Multiple former candidates tell stories of Warren engaging with their campaigns on a more intimate level than just offering endorsements and financial assistance by calling and sending messages that provide encouragement, advice, and moral support. On the same day that the Teen Vogue story was published, The Texas Tribune broke the news that Warren had endorsed immigration lawyer Jessica Cisneros in her primary bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar.
In Other News
The Washington Post chronicles Kamala Harris's time at Howard University and how, as a mixed race person who had attended majority-white schools, her university experience at Howards and in Washington, D.C. shaped her racial consciousness. Representative Liz Cheney and Senator Rand Paul are in a determined contest to decide which of them is the true standard bearer for the president's foreign policy agenda, with Cheney claiming Trump's hawkish side as the True Trump and Paul claiming his non-interventionist side as the True Trump. The New York Times chronicles their public debate. Stacey Abrams, who has already announced efforts to fight voter suppression, helped launch a new initiative from Supermajority that seeks to train women as activists and organizers. Read more at The Hill .

Grief in Motion
The Washington Post profiles freshman Representative Susan Wild and how personal tragedy expanded her mission of public service. Earlier this year, Wild's longtime partner, Kerry Acker, committed suicide following struggles with chronic pain and depression. Losing her partner, and one of her staunchest supporters, took a toll on Wild, who addressed her grief in a speech on the floor of the House in June. The Post story, released during Suicide Prevention Month, focuses on Wild turning her grief into action by adding mental health and suicide prevention to her portfolio of legislative priorities, determined to end mental health stigma and get people the help they need. If you or someone you love is struggling, seek help by calling 1-800-273-8255 or visiting .

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