Comstock's magazine 0319 - March 2019 - Page 93

administration for more moderate women, have complicated some of those efforts in the past. “We need more women, we want to see parity. We want to see 50 percent of the Legislature, and I don’t think you’re going to do that just by getting progressive women elected because there are parts of California that are still not progressive,” says Rachel Michelin, the organization’s former executive director and CEO. “So let’s find a woman in those areas who can be a fit for the district.” There are some additional efforts to bolster women in the party. Morgan Murtaugh, who ran for Congress in Southern California last year, is starting a podcast to highlight “badass women in positions of leadership on the right” in California and beyond. On the national level, New York Rep. Elise Stefan- ik launched a new PAC to support female GOP candidates. But those efforts alone likely won’t be enough, especially given the broader electoral challenges Republicans face in California. Bryant says she’d like to see the state party continue to “step up” on the issue, especially when it comes to encourag- ing women to run for local office. Any resource commitments would ultimately be up to the board of directors. “We really do try to find as many women candidates as we can. All of us are of a mindset where if there’s a choice, that it’s great to have a woman candidate,” she says. Patterson agrees. She says she wants to see the party “super- size” those recruiting efforts, though one key hurdle will be finding the money to make it happen. “We do need to find an- swers, on the funding side especially, and nationalize that and have money coming in [for] women who are taking the leap to go and run,” she says. While Pye isn’t convinced that the party is really ready to do — and spend — what it takes to balance the scales, she is hopeful that high levels of civic engagement among young peo- ple who might be inspired to run could, in the long run, be a game-changer. “It’s up to those of us who can, who are still members of the Republican Party, to help find and fund those candidates who better reflect their communities but also reflect our Re- publican values. I think that’ll be a challenge,” she says. “But I look to young people to help me make my way through a lot of challenges these days. It sounds corny, but I do think this next generation of voters is whose going to make the difference.” n Torey Van Oot is a writer and former political reporter for The Sacramento Bee. Her work appears on, Refin- ery29, Teen Vogue and elsewhere. On Twitter @ToreyVanOot. March 2019 | 95