December 10, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
It's our last newsletter of 2019, so we'd like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and wonderful New Year! The New Year promises to be a thrilling one for women and politics, full of promise for the future as well as an important remembrance of the past. We'll be back on January 7th...we look forward to spending 2020 with you!

Kamala Harris Exits Race 
Senator Kamala Harris announced the end of her presidential campaign, citing difficulties raising enough funds to cover the costs of maintaining her campaign. Harris was the third Black woman to mount a major-party presidential campaign and the first South Asian woman to do so. "I believe our campaign showed every child in America, regardless of color or gender, that there are no limits on who can lead and hold positions of power in our country," Harris said in her announcement video. With Harris leaving the race, four of the six women in the Democratic presidential primary remain: Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson. This is a good opportunity to re-introduce a recent piece from CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are Running Dual Campaigns, that illustrates the extra burdens of campaigning taken on by women and people of color when they run for office. Dittmar also appeared on All Things Considered over the weekend to discuss Harris's exit from the race.
Update on 2020 vs 2018 House Candidate Data
We've got the latest numbers for our data comparing current potential and filed women House candidates with this stage of the 2018 cycle. Our December 2019 numbers show 478 potential women candidates, more than 100 more than our list of potential candidates in December of 2017, when 369 women looked likely to run. Among Democrats, 308 women are likely candidates compared to 302 this time in the last cycle, though current non-incumbent likely Democratic women candidates still lag behind their numbers at this point in the last midterm 223 to 246. Much of the growth in the overall number of potential women House candidates in the 2020 election is being driven by a large increase in the number of Republican women considering candidacies. In December 2017, 67 GOP women were likely candidates; currently there are 170 potential GOP women House candidates. Learn more about the women running in 2020 at our potential and filed candidates list and our 2020 candidate summary.
Final Debate of 2019
The last Democratic presidential primary debate is set to take place next Thursday, December 19th, co-hosted by PBS News Hour and Politico. With Sen. Harris exiting the race and strict rules for qualifying for this debate, only seven candidates have thus far qualified, and just one of them is a person of color. Two women are set to appear on the debate stage, Klobuchar and Warren. Gabbard was one positive poll result from qualifying ahead of the December 12th deadline when she announced on Twitter that she would decline to attend the debate regardless of her qualifying status. Follow our live CAWP conversation on Twitter at the hashtag #GenderLens2020.
News from the Trail
Debbie Walsh was interviewed by the BBC about how President Trump talks about women, for an article about how the president's comments on women may affect his re-election prospects. Political consultant Amy Pritchard writes in The New York Times opinion section about the ongoing effects of the D.C.C.C. blacklist against people and organizations that work for Democrats running against incumbents, arguing in particular that this restricts the future potential of women in the party. We wrote about the initial reactions to this policy in a newsletter back in April, and it seems the policy continues to be deeply unpopular.
CAWP Co-Hosts Latinas Lead Initiative at NHCSL Conference
Last week, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) and the Center for American Women and Politics co-hosted the Latinas Lead Initiative, a program aiming to boost the numbers of Latina state legislators nationwide. The initiative brought together two dozen Latina state legislators from around the country, along with members of the NHSCL board, to have conversations and training about advancing important policy issues, increasing the representation of Latina elected officials, and building a Latina power base in the political community and within legislative bodies.

CAWP Associate Director Jean Sinzdak spoke on the importance of programs like Latinas Lead: "Latinas make up just 2% of state legislative and Congressional seats nationwide. CAWP is glad to partner with NHCSL in their important work to address this under-representation by helping more Latina state legislators attain leadership roles in their caucuses and by empowering the next generation of Latina elected leaders."
News from the Teach a Girl to Lead® Classroom Reading Project 
Massachusetts State Rep. Tram Nguyen at a TAG event
CAWP's Teach a Girl to Lead® program aims to provide young people with images of leadership that counteract cultural stereotypes, and, as part of that program, CAWP sponsors a classroom reading project that provides copies of a children's book, Grace Goes to Washington, to elected women leaders nationwide and encourages them to read the book to students at a school in their district. We've recently seen several women leaders participate in the project, so we're highlighting a few of their experiences. In Massachusetts, State Senator Diana DiZoglio and state Representatives Christina Minicucci and Tram Nguyen visited Tenney Grammar, a local elementary school, to read to and interact with students. See reactions and pictures from the event at the Twitter accounts for Tenney, Sen. DiZoglio, and Rep. Minicucci. Rep. Nguyen, meanwhile, also attended an event at High Plain Elementary School, and on her Twitter account shared photos and highlighted the great questions she got from kids at the school. In Ohio, state Representative Juanita Brent visited a kindergarten class in her district and shared about the discussion she had with students after the reading. In North Carolina, state Representative Christy Clark read to students and left behind her copy "for all the little girls who want to be President of the US when they grow up," and in Pennsylvania, state Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (an alumna of the Eagleton Institute of Politics!) shared Grace Goes to Washington with a class of kindergartners. The Teach a Girl to Lead® classroom reading project is one of our very favorite programs at CAWP, because it allows women officeholders to not only read to students and engage them in discussion, but also model women's leadership through their visibility to students. Learn more about this project here.

Help us bring to life programs like Teach a Girl to Lead®

CAWP Scholars at Kings College London 

CAWP scholars Kelly Dittmar and Kira Sanbonmatsu were invited to participate in an event at Kings College London called Gender and Politics: Perspectives from the UK and the US. At their panel, focused on American politics and chaired by Kings College London Professor Rosie Campbell, Sanbonmatsu discussed their book, A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why their Presence Matters, while Dittmar spoke about our recent report, Unfinished Business: Women Running in 2018 and Beyond, to provide attendees with an overview of women and politics in the US from the perspectives of both candidacy and office-holding. Dittmar also spoke about Unfinished Business recently at an event at the University of Minnesota; you can check out her remarks on Minnesota Public Radio.
New Senator Incoming 
From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has tapped financial executive Kelly Loeffler to fill the seat being vacated by Senator Johnny Isakson. When she is sworn in next year, Loeffler will become the 26th woman in the Senate, setting a new record for women's representation in the chamber. She is the second woman to be appointed to a Senate seat from Georgia; the first, Rebecca Latimer Felton, became the first woman in the U.S. Senate when she served for a single day in 1922. If Loeffler wins re-election in 2020, she will become the first woman elected to the Senate from Georgia. The AJC also takes a deeper look at Loeffler's history in business and politics.
Talking Impeachment 
This morning, House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress [ AP]. Last week, at an impeachment-focused press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacted strongly to a characterization of the impeachment investigation as flowing from personal animus against the president, with Pelosi making clear that she sees the proceedings as a duty and that hate doesn't factor into it. Karen Tumulty at The Washington Post wrote about the comments in the context of her Catholic faith and how hatred is antithetical to her religious values. Vox's Anna North spoke to Kelly Dittmar about the gender imbalance in polling on approval of the impeachment process, with women supporting impeachment at much higher rates than men. Dittmar cautions that party identification drives impeachment support and women tend to identify as Democrats, so the explanation of this support may have more to do with party than gender, but she also raises the question of whether the trajectory of the Republican Party and the current White House may be impacting whether women identify as Republicans. Meanwhile, The Washington Post notes an interesting bit of historical trivia: U.S. Representative Zoe Lofrgen has played a role in all three impeachment proceedings in the modern era. During the Watergate scandal, Lofrgen was a law student working in the offices of then-Rep. Don Edwards during the impeachment inquiry and even drafted an un-adopted article of impeachment. By the time of the Clinton impeachment, Lofrgen had begun her tenure as a member of Congress, voting against the Clinton impeachment, and in the current crisis, Lofgren relies on her past experience to provide perspective on the Trump impeachment.
PACs designed to support GOP women candidates are getting involved earlier in the primary stage to ensure women have a shot at rising to the top in grueling intraparty conflicts. On Roll Call , Simone Pathé writes about Winning for Women 's initial round of endorsements; the PAC will support 13 women House candidates in primaries as well as all GOP incumbent women seeking re-election next year. The Sunflower State Journal, meanwhile, takes a look at VIEW PAC backing Sara Hart Weir in the primary to challenge Democratic incumbent Sharice Davids, a primary race in which all three current candidates are women, as well as the broader trend of PACs supporting women earlier than GOP organizations typically start engaging in primary competitions. 

The Idaho Statesman has a detailed, inside look at the mayoral campaign of Boise City Council President Lauren McLean, which defeated four-term incumbent Mayor David Bieter in a run-off election last week. From Wyoming, The Casper Star-Tribune interviews Debbie Walsh about women's representation in state legislatures and how under-representation can create special challenges for women legislators. The New York Times writes about the world's youngest prime minster, 34 year-old Sana Marin, who is set to assume the premiership in a five-party coalition government. Former Prime Minister Antti Rinne will remain the nominal head of Marin's own party as she becomes prime minister, but the heads of the four other coalition parties are all women as well, and four out of five of these women are under age 35.

Katie Hill Speaks Out 
Finally, former Representative Katie Hill writes in The New York Times about her experiences following the release of explicit photographs that led to her resignation from Congress, including struggling with suicidal ideation, as well as the support she received from fellow women in Congress. It is a harrowing read, but a necessary one.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, contact the
National Suicide Prevention Hotline  at 1-800-273-8255.
CAWP Calendar

Center for American Women and Politics
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