This year has been named “The Year of the Woman” by the news media because more women are becoming politically active. More women sought and ran for public office across every level, ranging from city to federal position than ever before.
Out of the 476 women who ran for a seat in the House of Representatives at the start of the electoral season, 235 won their primaries. This was another record-breaking number, which was up from its previous record of 167 female major party nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives.
At least 98 women have won seats in the U.S. House of Representatives so far during the midterm election that was held Nov. 6.
Fifty three women also ran for the Senate, with 22 winning their primaries and 12 won in the midterm election.
Some people take gender into consideration when voting, but to Dr. Christopher McHorney, chairman of the History and Government Department, gender should hold little significance.
“I would never vote for a candidate based upon their gender; it is his or her ideals that matter,” McHorney said. “I would hope this generation and these students would do their own research and vote the same.”
California Baptist University alumna, Technical Sergeant Aja Smith, who ran to represent District 41 in the House of Representatives, said she ran because she is ready to serve her country outside of her military service.
“I had an amazing journey that led me up to this point,” Smith said. “I just turned 40 and I am ready to serve the people in my community, to serve my country in another capacity.”
Women of all ethnicities are taking part in this record-breaking election.
Smith was one of only six black Republican women who ran for U.S. Congress.
Smith was raised by her mother and grandmother, both of whom were nurses, and Smith said she has seen struggle throughout her life.
As a result of her struggles, Smith said she strives to be a role-model for young women.
“Everyone has a different need and want,” Smith said. “I can relate to all kinds of people, because I grew up in a single-parent household.
“I know what it’s like to have a parent suddenly lose a job. I know what it means to live pay check to pay check.
“I can also relate to female and minority issues because I am one of those. This is why I’m running. I want to be a role-model to a lot of young girls and women in my district.”
Though Smith lost her election, Smith said she plans to run again in 2020.
Rebecca Arneson, senior philosophy and business administration double major and president of the Associated Students of California Baptist University, said it is important women run because they bring a different perspective than men.
“It’s important to have people with different backgrounds, because it brings different dynamics to issues and better representation,” Arneson said. “It’s important to have women in politics because, as women, they better understand where I’m coming from than a male politician would.”
ASCBU this year has an all female executive council for the first time in recent history but a mixture in the Senate.
“We grew up in a time where you did not really see a lot of women in power on TV, we saw a lot of men,” Arneson said. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh I want to be like my dad.’
“But now we see a lot of women and it will really inspire young girls that they can do this too.”
The 2018 midterm election held a lot of firsts for both women and the nation.
Arizona pitted two women against each other for the U.S. Senate which meant Arizona was guarenteed to have their first female senator.
The midterm election also saw the first Native American and Muslim female members of Congress.
The United States surpassed its previous record of 107 women in Congress this election season by electing at least 121 women to Congress.