This week’s primary was a banner day for Democratic women. Becca Balint. Charity Clark. Sarah Copeland Hanzas. Becca White. Tanya Vyhovsky. Wendy Harrison. Anne Watson. Pending recount, Martine Larocque Gulick. I could go on.
On the statewide level, the only man who defeated a viable woman was David Zuckerman, and he beat Kitty Toll by less than five percentage points. Otherwise, when given a choice, the Democratic electorate seemed to express a built-in preference for female candidates.
(Republicans, on the other hand, were like schoolboys with a NO GURLZ ALOUD sign on their clubhouse. At the statewide level, every female Republican candidate was rejected.)
This is partly because many liberal voters want to eliminate the persistent gender imbalance in Vermont politics. The breaking point may have been when Mississippi elected Cindy Hyde-Smith to the U.S. Senate, leaving progressive ol’ Vermont as the only state never to have sent a woman to Congress.
But the biggest factor is Emerge Vermont. It equips smart, qualified, energetic women and sends them out to conquer new lands. Emerge has ensured that there are top-quality women ready for any electoral challenge. There were 48 Emerge alums on the primary ballot; 44 of them won. Another 13 had just completed an intensive campaign training; 11 were victorious.Continue reading