VICE News: 11 states have no women in Congress. These candidates are trying to change that.

09/5/2018

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Twenty-three women remain in the running to break [these] all-male delegations this year, according to a VICE News review of data from the Center for American Women and Politics. VICE News reached out to all for interviews and spoke with 14. While most said that their state’s lack of female congressional lawmakers had little to do with their decision to run, the women agreed that they still couldn’t escape the issue of gender — and the dearth of female politicians — in their race.

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Every single female candidate VICE News spoke with was adamant that they were not relying on their gender for votes. “It’s not that, ‘Oh, we have no women in Congress. You should vote for me because I’m a woman.’ That’s clearly not my messaging,” said Pennsylvania’s Susan Wild, the Democratic nominee for the 7th Congressional District. "Nor do I think that would be appropriate messaging for anybody.”

With 20 members, Pennsylvania has the largest all-male congressional delegation. The state is also guaranteed to send at least one woman to Congress this year, since some of the races involve only women. In fact, Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon, who’s running against Kim for Pennsylvania’s 5th District, said one of her male primary rivals was asked in a debate why anyone should vote for him “when there were well-qualified women on the ballot,” as Scanlon recalled.

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"Maybe I'm naive. I'd like to think that people are beyond just looking at the gender. But having said that, I think there are a lot of voters out there, men and women, who ill this year in particular potentially give an edge -- if they're undecided -- would give an edge to a female candidate because I think they're tired of nothing getting done."  -- Susan Wild.

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