FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gabriela Coletta
Does Hillary Clinton have long enough coattails in Massachusetts to increase the number of women in the Massachusetts Legislature beyond the current 25 percent?
BOSTON – With her strong showing in Massachusetts polling, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton could help the fortunes of women running for legislative seats across Massachusetts and increase the number of seats held by women, which is currently just 25 percent, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (MWPC) announced today.
There are currently 36 Democratic women on the Nov. 8th ballot seeking office in the State House of Representatives and another 12 Democratic women seeking seats in the State Senate. There are also 15 Republican women running for seats in the State House of Representatives and two Republican women seeking State Senate seats. One woman candidate representing the Green Rainbow Party is also seeking to win a seat in the House of Representatives.
The MWPC has endorsed seven women on the November ballot, including five newcomers seeking House seats. They are Juana Matias of Lawrence (who has no opposition), Natalie Higgins of Leominster, Jen Migliore of Saugus, Joan Meschino of Hull, and Brianna Sullivan of Newburyport. The MWPC has also endorsed three incumbent women running for reelection. They are Senator Patricia Jehlen of Somerville, Sen. Barbara L’Italien of Andover and Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield.
“Women account for more than half the population in Massachusetts and more than half of the electorate and it is time that they were fully represented in our Legislature,” said MWPC Executive Director Sarah McCarthy Welsh. “There are a number of extraordinary women on the ballot for these legislative seats and we expect that after all the dust settles on election day we will see an increase in their representation.”
The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus is a non-partisan organization founded in 1971 to maximize the participation of women of all ages in the political process and to increase the number of women appointed and elected to public office and policy positions. Massachusetts currently ranks 24th in the nation in its percentage of women that hold legislative office. There are 12 women currently in the State Senate out of the 40 seats while 38 women currently hold seats in the State House of Representatives, for a total of 50 women in both chambers out of the 200 legislative seats, or 25%.
If the 14 women (12 incumbents) seeking Senate seats prevail, the percentage in the Senate would increase from its current 30 percent to 35 percent with a net increase of two seats. In the contests for seats in the House of Representatives, 53 are women running for 50 seats, 35 of whom are incumbents, with the potential to pick up an additional 15 seats if they were to prevail. That would increase the current 24 percent level in the House to 31 percent.