Comstock's magazine 0319 - March 2019 - Page 92

n WOMEN IN POLITICS lican politics. … We have lost our way, and it’s killing any op- portunity for political balance and thoughtful debate in Cali- fornia, elements that good public policy relies on,” she wrote. Party officials largely agree with the assessment that bigger forces are driving the numbers down, and defenders say they did try to support women in 2018. GOP groups spent heavily in the midterms to try to protect Walters’ congressional seat. Kim also narrowly lost her bid for a Southern California seat. In the state Legislature, Sen. Janet Nguyen’s failed re-election bid was one of the most hotly contested races of the year. “They lost because of other trends that had nothing to do with them being a Republican woman,” Cynthia Bryant, ex- ecutive director of the California Republican Party, says. “It’s unfortunate. They were running in tough, competitive seats.” Bryant and others say the GOP is doing what it can to put women in power. Women currently lead the GOP caucuses in both chambers of the state Legislature. Patterson specifical- ly called out the need to recruit qualified women when she announced her bid for state party chair this winter. She has also led California Trailblazers, a political group backed by House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy that aims to support younger, more diverse GOP candidates. The surge in female candidates on the left has been buoyed by outside groups and movements, like Emily’s List, that train “There are many other contact h management systems from whic , to choose for my investment firm including a system that Raymond James offers. I choose Act!, and with Chris as my expert Act! coach, his expertise and support has yielded the most effective results for more than a decade. He .” is a true asset to me and my team — SHERI JOHNSON JAMES FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. FINANCIAL ADVISOR, RAYMOND INC., EL DORADO HILLS PRESIDENT, WEALTH STRATEGIES, Contact Chris Pumphrey | Act! Software Coach • 406.493.7047 • 94 | March 2019 women to run, and then in some cases spend millions on their behalf to help get them through the finish lines. Several simi- lar organizations are active on the state level here. Rival efforts focused on GOP women are few and far between. Pye says that has to change. “If and when the Republican Party gets serious about electing women, we will do a bit of a stealing of a page from the playbooks of the Democrats,” she says. “We’ve got to be honest about ourselves about who can run and who will run.” Pye stresses the need for the party and its allies to go be- yond lip service, focusing on training and supporting women who have what she calls the three C’s of a strong campaign: a candidate, cash to fund the race, and city or county experi- ence that can help make the case to voters that you know how to govern. She has tried to help fill that gap in her role as president of California Women Lead. The nonpartisan nonprofit seeks to recruit and train women of all political stripes for elected office at all levels and political appointments. But given the current gender parity gap, the group plans to double down on opportunities to recruit moderate, business-oriented women to run for swing seats in the state Legislature. Multiple fac- tors, including the dwindling numbers for Republicans as a whole and an unwillingness to be associated with the current