According to a report at Politico, despite Republican Party claims that they are actively trying to bridge the gender gap with Democrats, they are largely ignoring conservative women who want to run for office under the GOP banner.
In an interview with the website, Republican Leigh Brown said she was initially encouraged to run for a vacant House seat representing North Carolina only to be abandoned after she began her campaign.
“Brown jumped into a crowded Republican primary — and the people who had given her hope were nowhere to be found. Among those who disappeared, she said, was Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who launched an initiative this year to elect more Republican women,” the report states.
“That’s a little frustrating to have initial conversations and then follow up and be ghosted,” Brown lamented. “I put my real estate business on hold. I’ve dinged my own reputation in order to put myself forward as a public servant, and then you find out exactly how lonely it is to run for office.”
According to Politico, the GOP made big plans to bring more female candidates into the fold after watching a massive class of Democratic woman sworn in after the 2018 “Blue Wave” midterms, but their efforts have faltered since then.
Part of the problem is that the GOP is providing no infrastructure to recruit and support female candidates and don’t seem very interested in changing their ways.
“GOP consultants and candidates acknowledge their recruitment and resources lag far behind Democrats,” Politico reports. “And no centralized group exists to provide hiring advice, social media guidance, press training, or messaging tactics to candidates. Democrats, on the other hand, have the behemoth EMILY’s List network, as well as groups focused on recruiting immigrants, women of color, female veterans and more.”
A few of the 13 female House members who are Republicans claim they are doing what the can to swell their numbers, with Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) launching a “Suburban Caucus … to craft an economic-driven agenda for female candidates running in suburban swing districts.”
The report also notes that there is infighting among conservative groups over which candidates to select for vacant seats and women often get left out in the cold.
“Why do you have all these groups working against each other?” explained a female Republican consultant who wished to remain anonymous. “Why not all get along and be [like] EMILY’s List — and be recruiting women, mentoring people, electing women?”
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