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U.S. Democrats boast surge in female candidates

Thursday, August 03, 2017 - 02:18

Months after women marched in their thousands against President Donald Trump, Democratic training groups say an ''unprecedented'' number of women are running for office. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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At a cocktail party in Washington, D.C., celebration of an emergent political movement.. In the months since they marched in their thousands against President Donald Trump... A huge spike in the number of women running for office. Stephanie Schriock is president of Emily's List, an organization that recruits and trains pro-choice women to run for office. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF EMILY'S LIST, STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK, SAYING: "It is unprecedented. I mean, since Election Day, we have had now over 16,000 women contact EMILY's List looking to run for office. They represent all 50 states, and we've just never seen anything like it." 16,000 women -- up from 900 in all of 2015 and 2016 combined, Schriock says. Similarly, applications for Emerge America, a training program for Democratic women, have increased by 87 percent. First-time candidates cite Donald Trump's attitude toward women, his conservative agenda, and sexist treatment of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race as motivating factors. Before Clinton lost to Trump, Hala Ayala had never considered running for office. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HALA AYALA, A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR THE 51ST DISTRICT OF THE VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES, SAYING: "When I saw that she'd lost, it was very heavy. It was very sad. I think it was a political depression, if you will, but I had to do something with that energy." Ayala, a cybersecurity expert, is now a candidate for the 51st district of the Virginia House of Delegates. After Election Day, businesswoman Laura Lombard moved from Washington, D.C., to her native Kansas to run for Congress. She's not surprised so many women are deciding to enter politics. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAURA LOMBARD, A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR KANSAS' 4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SAYING: "Women don't tend to run because they want this to be their career necessarily. They run because there's something wrong and they want to fix it." She's one of a mounting coalition of enthusiastic female candidates pushing for a Democratic victory in 2018...with women leading the charge.

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U.S. Democrats boast surge in female candidates

Thursday, August 03, 2017 - 02:18