President’s Message – July / August 2018
Have you ever googled “why men do not run for office?” Nothing comes up except articles related to why women do not run for office. There were several articles about the increase in female candidates this year, but mostly Democrat female candidates. Where are all the Republican women? We know the talking points to answer the question ‘why women do not run;’ we talk about it all the time. The typical answers are:
- Women need to be asked to run,
- Women are socialized differently than men,
- Women feel less qualified.
These may be true, but I think there is more to it. If someone were to stop you on the street and ask you if you have ever thought about running for office how would you answer?
How would the members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women answer? The women of the T.F.R.W. have a close-up look, more than others, into what it is really like to run for office. I believe more than waiting to be asked or feeling under-qualified, there is an issue of time, money and putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations.
Elected officials are in a perpetual state of campaigning and if it’s exhausting to watch I cannot imagine living it. Then, once in office, we all know that you will be traveling a lot more and spending less time with your family and friends. Our founding father’s intended for our representatives to serve a term or two then head back home and pick up where they left off, there was supposed to be a rotation of citizen legislators, to serve their country. If we knew that we would serve one maybe two terms would more of us serve?
Money is a huge obstacle for any candidate and fundraising is never ending. This is where I believe there should be caps on the money you can raise and limited media exposure.
You need to have nerves of steel to run for office, between the media, the Democrats and people in our own party, it’s a wonder that any good people run for office. In an age where words and actions are taken out of context and cowards use social media to attack those they do not agree with, running for office is like running through a mine field.
One of the fundamental goals of the T.F.R.W. is to encourage women to run for office, but I don’t think we can accomplish that goal until we really delve into why women do not run, and more specifically why Republican women do not run. Maybe if the Texas Federation of Republican Women helped redefine the process more of us would serve.
Tell me why you have not run for office.
Karen C. Newton, President