INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana is seeing a sharp increase in the number of women running for a seat
in the state Legislature.
There are 75 women
campaigning in the May primary election, which is double the number of women
who ran four years ago, the Indianapolis Star reported.
More than 50 women
are running this year on the Democrat side, compared to 22 in 2014. The
Republican side has 23 candidates, an increase from 15 in 2014.
Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer said he believes the number of women running for
office will only increase.
Party Executive Director Brittany Solis said the rise in women running for
public office is partly in response to President Donald Trump's election and
a lack of focus on issues important to women at the state level, such as
childcare costs and paid family leave.
"I think a lot of
people were just plain mad about what they saw happened and they decided to
step up and do something about it," Solis said.
Women make up about
a quarter of state legislators across the U.S. but account for half of the
That disparity is
particularly visible when looking at the leadership positions in the Indiana
General Assembly: No woman has been the state's speaker of the House or the
president pro tempore of the Senate.
"That's not really
a fair representation of our state," said Aimee Rivera Cole, a Democrat
running against Republican Rep. Todd Huston in District 37. "Our state is
not all men. I think the more women that can be involved the better ...
particularly because women oftentimes tend to add a different perspective to
issues than just men."
Many of the female
candidates face tough opponents, but the increased participation is good,
"This is a step in
the right direction," Solis said. "We want to give voters a choice."