Trump Effect? More NJ Women Interested in Running for Office
Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics is holding its annual Ready to Run political boot camp for women interested in a career in public life.
Director Debbie Walsh says interest in getting into the political game surged with the election of Donald Trump.
"I think that it was a moment where women realized that elections have consequences," she said.
"I think that women woke up the day after the election in November of 2016 and felt like they may not have the voice that they would like to have in the political process."
According to Walsh, about 200 women will attend the two-day trainer today and Saturday, a surge in interest for the program among women.
"It seems to be a movement that is sustaining itself, and the momentum is there. so we are anticipating again, a very large turnout this coming weekend."
The program is held on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. It is billed as a nonpartisan training event. The Center for American Women and Politics is a part of Rutgers' Eagleton Institute of Politics.
"Because New Jersey is New Jersey, and there is an election every year in our state, we run Ready to Run every year," she said about the event that lasts a day and a half.
Part of the boot camp includes information designed to help minority women. All women also get a "nuts and bolts" overview of running for office, including social media, dealing with the press, fundraising and navigating the party system.
What about progress for New Jersey women in politics? Walsh says almost a third of state legislators are now female, but New Jersey women have a way to go in mayor's offices, where they make up 14 percent of the seats. Just 29 percent of county freeholders are women.