98 Democratic Women File Petitions for State Legislature

As Democrats look to increase their numbers in the state Senate and House, 98 Democratic women have filed petitions to be on the ballot in the May primary with the help of groups like Emily’s List and Emerge Pennsylvania.

Currently there are 9 women in the 50 member state Senate, and 40 women of the 200 seated members in the state House.  

Update: According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University Pennsylvania ranks 39th for women in the state legislature.

Emily’s List has been on the ground in Pennsylvania since last year when they ran a training session in Philadelphia to help women become more engaged and connect with resources to help them navigate the process.

Part of the work Emily’s List has done includes helping women who have been working in politics, including women in elected office, help those considering learn about the process.  They have been working with groups in the state including Emerge Pennsylvania.

According to their website, Emerge Pennsylvania works towards “identifying, training and encouraging Democratic women to run for office, get elected and to seek higher office.”  

“Since November of 2016, we’ve seen a movement sweep the country and women have stepped up to lead the resistance.  Women have decided that they are no longer accepting the status quo and have set out to make the government reflect their values and ideals,” Emerge Pennsylvania Executive Director Anne Wakabayashi said.  

Emerge Pennsylvania has 18 alumni of their training program running for the state legislature, including five for the state Senate and 13 for the state House.  

“After 100 percent of our alumnae on the ballot in 2017 won their elections, we are excited about the group of Emerge women who have stepped forward in 2018, ready to make a difference in their communities, Harrisburg and Washington,” Wakabayashi said.  

Emerge Pennsylvania also has three alumni running for Congress.  

The increase in Democratic women is part of an increase of Democratic candidates running for state legislative seats.  56% of the candidates who filed petitions to be on the primary ballot are Democrats, according to the Morning Call.

March 8th, 2018 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 18 Comments

18 thoughts on “98 Democratic Women File Petitions for State Legislature”

  1. Marilyn Calderon- Cruz says:

    We are empowered women acting with passion and smarter thought to do the changes in ours City county and state. I’m so proud. Let’s do the changes. The changes don’t come alone come with action and Yes! We did.

  2. Kait sez says:

    Read my book…”fight like a girl” then go out and win. I provide all the sneaky. details on how to win little elections. Good luck, Ladies.

    1. Jennifer says:

      Where can I find it?

      1. Kait sez says:

        Anywhere along the AMAZON River😋

        1. Chuckie Porter the raT says:

          I read your book. It sucks. Go back to knitting and stay out of manly stuff like politics.

          1. Kait sez says:

            Manly? Not you, Chuckie, or any of your mobbed up scummy relatives either. And you can tell your cousin in the D.A.office we have a brave lady lawyer coming for him nect year. The me too movement is bringing all of you to real justice.

  3. WesHightower says:

    Great News! but all should note who has NOT offered assistance, even to those with no primary: HDCC/SDCC. That is a blessing to these candidates. Those two organizations couldn’t lead a free soup line. Their slogan is essentially to “maintain”. Maintain what? Maintain anemic party levels of representation we have not seen in 80 years. They blame gerrymandering. Their losses are to blame for the ability of the R’s to gerrymander as well. These candidates should not listen to the shit shows that are these two inept organizations. The ole’ boys dont want you there anyway.

    1. David Diano says:

      For the women really looking to be free of HDCC shackles and meddling, my VoterWeb system is an easier/better alternative to the troublesome/difficult VAN/VoteBuilder software the party tries to force upon candidates. (rumor has it they “peak” at info from candidates they don’t like, and “share” it with candidates they do like).

      Of course, if you are challenging an incumbent, they won’t even sell you VAN (as part of the “maintain” philosophy.

      VoterWeb just updated with the March 5th statewide snapshot (the sixth update since the Nov election). VoterWeb also has a database of donors from the state campaign finance reports.

      The fee for VoterWeb for a state house race is only $195 for the entire 2018 cycle, for female candidates.

    2. FYI says:

      It’s really easy to blame organizations like HDCC/SDCC, just like the blame goes to HRCC and SRCC when certain races are lost. But in reality, it’s much wiser to invest in races where they actually have a chance of taking a seat back. Yes it’s always good to have Ds running in heavy R districts, and vice versa, to give the voters a voice. But HDCC and SDCC investing in a race where the R incumbent wins by double digit points is the same waste as HRCC and SDCC investing money in a deep Philly district. You can’t waste money like that when it can be used for districts that are actually possible to flip. It’s logical. We can’t all be idealistic and blind to the numbers.

      1. David Diano says:


        There are 20 GOP state house seats with a R/D ratio of more then 2 to 1, with the highest being a 3 to 1 ratio.

        The Dem seats in Philly (and a few other areas) have 30 seats with a D/R ratio of higher than 3 to 1, with the highest ratio about 27 to 1.

        So, you are incorrect that the it’s the “same” as the HRCC investing in those seats, as the HDCC investing in GOP seats. The heavily GOP seats are nearly impossible for Dems to win, but those Dem ones are completely impossible for GOP to win.

        Also, if you go after A LOT of “safe” GOP seats, you still tie up GOP money that those incumbents won’t risk sending to other GOP candidates in less safe seats.

    3. Tony Campisi says:

      Wes is 100% right. Democrats desperately need new leadership in the legislature.

    4. Lee Nelson says:

      couldn’t agree more

      And Emily’s List exists for Emily’s list not for helping Candidates

  4. Male PA Voter says:

    Bout damn time. We could use a little no nonsense leadership in Harrisburg AND D.C.

    1. Ballchinian says:

      Just because they’re women doesn’t mean they will be “no nonsense”… it’s sexist of you to think that.

      1. David Diano says:

        Well, the men in charge don’t seem to know how women’s bodies or health work, resulting in plenty of nonsense and no-common-sense “leadership”.

      2. Isaac L. says:

        You must be fun at parties.

  5. Wethepeople says:

    There are 7 women currently in the Senate, not 9.

    1. PhillyPolitico says:

      I don’t know what’s more pathetic. That there are only 7 women in the 50-person state senate, or that I’m legitimately surprised its that many.

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