(cross-posted at the Georgetown Progressive)
In 1992, pundits, scholars, and politicians alike exclaimed "The Year of the Woman." That year, four Democratic women running for Senate won their races, tripling the number of women in the Senate. Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Carol Moseley-Braun, and Patty Murray made a big leap for women, who represent more than half the voters in the US, but had only two female US Senators in 1991. 16 years later, there are 17 women in the Senate, including 13 Democrats. But with 58 Democrats in the Senate, it is absurd that President-Elect Obama's party only has women representing 22% of its caucus. It's time that we in the netroots make an enormous effort to make 2010 the New Year of the Woman.
More than 60% of Barack Obama's voters in 2008 were women, and it is critical that our Senate caucus more adequately represent our party and respect our voters. If women had more representation in the Senate, they would defend reproductive rights, fight sexual harassment and discrimination, support women's health, promote equal economic opportunity for men and women, and ensure fair pay.
We have an unprecedented opportunity to recruit and elect more women to the US Senate this year and defeat Republicans around the country. The following Senate races offer us opportunities to elect women to either Democratic open seats or Republican seats nationwide. Let's not waste this opportunity to promote female Democratic candidates.
We will work to reelect Blanche Lincoln, Barbara Boxer, Barbara Mikulski, and Patty Murray. But there are 19 Republican seats and three Democratic open seats (Barack Obama's, Joe Biden's, and Hillary Clinton's, likely), where we must do our best to elect strong Democratic women to the Senate.
I'll highlight each of these races over the coming months, but in the meantime, here are the names of potential recruits, and we in the netroots should do everything we can to recruit these fantastic progressive Democratic women to run for Senate in 2010.
Delaware - Special
Governor Ruth Ann Minner
State Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart
Secretary of State Harriet Smith Windsor
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
State Department of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth
State Attorney General Lisa Madigan
New York - Special
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand
Rep. Nydia Velasquez
Political Scion Caroline Kennedy
Rep. Nita Lowey
State Public Service Commissioner Susan Parker
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink
Rep. Kathy Castor
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge
Governor Kathleen Sebelius
State Auditor Crit Luallen
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan
State Auditor Susan Montee
Political Scion Katrina Swett
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
State Senator Maggie Hassan
State Senate President Sylvia Larsen
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
State Auditor Beth Wood
State Treasurer Janet Cowell
State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner
Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Rep. Betty Sutton
Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett
State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland
Rep. Allyson Schwartz
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin
There you have it. Please put suggestions for more great female Dems in your states to run for Senate. We'll boil down each race in the weeks and months ahead. But go check out these outstanding female public servants and let's go recruit them and make 2010 the New Year of the Woman.