El Paso

More women running for office

Women running for office

Monday marks the filing date for those running for office and locally there are several women who have thrown their names in the hat for a Congressional seat.

Dr. Irasema Coronado, a political science professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, said there is an upward trend in women running for office.

"There are a lot of women that are interested in running for office. I think they have been successful at the local level," Dr. Coronado said.

She said she believes women often think more about the factors than men when it comes to the cost of raising money, the stress of having an elected position and the impact on their families.

Coronado is part of a research group following Latina in Texas politics.

"One of the things we're finding is that they (Latinas) tend to be more educated than their counterparts. Most of them have master's degrees and a lot of work experience," Coronado said.

There are currently four women running for Congress; Veronica Escobar, Dori Fenenbock, Nicole LeClaire and Alia Ureste. 

They are all vying for the Congressional seat left vacant by Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who is running for Senate.

"Having women in elected positions, at the table discussing and raising issues, helps better policy-making. Diversity leads to better legislative outcomes," Coronado said.

On both sides of the aisle, there are political action committees that help women get elected into office.

Emily's List is one of the largest resource for Democratic women in politics. The organization's president said in October, during the Women's Convention in Detroit, that more than 20,000 women have reached out to the organization since Election Day about running for office. 

RightNOW Women PAC is the Republican equivalent for women wanting to run for an elected position. RightNOW Women PAC is a volunteer organization helping elect qualified women to federal office. 

Running Start is a bipartisan organization which financially supports young women running for federal office. 

The organization reports that in 2015 "only 19% of Congress and 23% of state legislatures are women. America is far below most  peer countries in the world in terms of women's political representation." 

While the numbers are increasing for women taking on larger roles in politics, once elected, Coronado said there are more challenges.

"Women have it hard in politics because there's still too few women. When you're the only woman on a committee or the only woman at the table, you have to out-perform everyone else and everyone is looking at you for a successful outcome," Coronado said.

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular Stories