Crown Politics

More women want to serve in the Maine Legislature than ever before

Good morning from Augusta, where more women than ever are running in Maine’s 2018 legislative elections. It follows a national trend toward more female political participation attributed to many different reasons depending on which party you’re talking about.

In Maine, 137 women were nominated — 91 Democrats and 46 Republicans — for legislative seats in the June primaries, according to Rutgers University data. That beat Maine’s past record set in 2006 of 116 female nominees in both chambers and contributed to a national record number of female legislative nominees that was also broken in 2018.

Maine has a relatively strong tradition of electing women. Democrats are well ahead on the state level. Some of the biggest names in Maine political history are Republican women: Margaret Chase Smith was the first one to serve in both houses of Congress, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins made Maine the third state with two female U.S. senators in 1997.

But Maine Democrats have done far better at getting women elected at the state level. Now, they have 42 women in the Legislature to Republicans’ 22. That total of 64 women elected to the Legislature in 2016 is the highest figure on record in Maine, but it’s likely to increase in 2018 given the record numbers of female nominees in both parties.

To read the rest of “More women want to serve in the Maine Legislature than ever before,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer , please follow this link to the BDN online.

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