There is tentative hope that midterm elections in 2018 will change which way the wind is blowing, as local and state elections in November featured some shockingly good results for Democrats, women, and minorities. In Michigan, the deadline for running for governor is approaching, and the numbers for women are also very good.
The Washington Post interviewed former state Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer, the leading Democratic candidate. Whitmer is one of 79 women who have have either officially signed up or are seriously considering it in the state, according to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women in Politics. That number includes 49 Democrats and 30 Republicans, because even conservative women are presumably fed up with this horse shit.
In 1998, the record for female candidates for governor was set at 34. It looks like when the official numbers for 2018 come in, it will smash it to smithereens. And Michigan isn’t the only place where the candidacy of women is trending:
In Ohio, there are three women running for governor in the Democratic primary and one in the Republican. In Georgia, both Democratic candidates are named Stacey.
Their candidacies are testing long-held attitudes about women and leadership. Voters tended to see women as “well suited for legislatures, where it’s collaborative,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the center. “It runs up against the stereotype to see women as the chief decider, the place where the buck stops.”
We don’t want your dang consensus anymore, fellas. Whitmer may end up as Decider in Chief, but her story illustrates the challenges ahead for new political hopefuls. Whitmer isn’t even new, having served in the State Senate, but her name isn’t well-known by voters. Whitmer seems to believe, though, that her power is in the enthusiasm of these newly activated women who want to get involved:
“In this cycle, the most surprising thing is how sustained the energy is, and the enthusiasm,” Whitmer said. “I was always a little concerned that maybe we’d get numbed to everything that’s happening, the enthusiasm would wane, and it hasn’t for a second. A lot of it is being organized by and sustained by women.”
Read all the ups and downs in the Michigan race here.