“Let us hope there is a wave of young women running for office in America,” Hillary Clinton said at a women’s empowerment event earlier this month. “And let’s be sure we support them, in every way we can. Let’s help them shatter stereotypes and lift each other up.”
It turns out there is a wave of women running for office and there is plenty of support. The women’s march in January started something. Or Donald Trump’s presidency did. Either way, many women are engaging in politics for the first time. And it is an incredibly personal choice, says Erin Forrest at Emerge Wisconsin, part of Emerge America, founded in 2002 to identify female community leaders and train them to run for office.
“This isn’t just, ‘I’m going to get involved in my community,’” Forrest says of why women are flocking to the group’s training. “It’s watching the most qualified person, watching a woman get so close to becoming president, watching what she went through, and losing, to arguably the least qualified person to run for president. [It is] deeply personal.”
Here in Ohio two women have officially announced they’re running for governor. Former state Rep. Connie Pillich and former of Akron are both seeking the Democrat party’s nomination in 2018. But the number of female candidates for governor is likely to expand. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and former state Rep. Nina Turner are also potential candidates.
Since Trump won the White House, more than 13,000 women have shown an interest in running for elected office across the country. EMILY’s List has had more than 4,000 women reach out to them, while She Should Run has been contacted by a whopping 8,100 women in just three months after the election. Both organizations are dedicated to coaching women on how to run for office.
“I see this as a new beginning,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “I think you’re going to see a new generation of women leaders rise up and change this country.”