More women than ever are running for office at the national level, and that trend is reflected in North Carolina's upcoming elections.
Seven women have advanced to the general election for the United States House of Representatives, and almost 100 women are on the ballot for the North Carolina General Assembly.
Gailya Paliga, state president of the North Carolina Chapter of the National Organization for Women, said national political trends are driving many women to run for office. She also emphasized that misogyny and cruelty at a national level have grabbed a lot of people’s attention.
“A lot of women mention that the women’s marches have inspired them to run,” Paliga said. “I’ve seen that at the local and state level in North Carolina.”
Local issues have encouraged women in North Carolina to take political action too, Paliga described.
“Women are also responding to terrible things happening here,” she said. “Our state legislature is out of control.”
Dr. Kyle Horton, a Democrat running in North Carolina’s seventh congressional district, said women from both political parties are interested in better representation and bipartisan solutions.
“We’re 101 in the world for the percentage of women in parliament or congress,” Horton said. “That is a travesty, and as we see things like the #MeToo movement and other movements gaining momentum, women want to see people who look like them and care about their interests with a seat at the table.”
Horton said she brings a unique perspective to the table as a female physician who also holds a master's degree in business administration.